September Tea Party winners: Angela Couch's winner is Beverly Duell-Moore, Shannon McNear's winner is Teri DiVincenzo, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winner is Janet Grunst's winner is Kailey Bechtel, Naomi Musch Rita Gerlach's winner is .Congratulations, all! Please private message your e-mail or mailing address to the authors.

Friday, September 25, 2020

History I Shouldn't Write - Vol. V

I've been having a discussion on the History I Shouldn't Write - Vol IHistory I Shouldn't Write - Vol II, History I Shouldn't Write - Vol III, and History I Shouldn't Write - Vol IV. I've talked about how research unveils truths that may not be popular or palatable in our modern culture.

As I discussed in Vol. IV, the British stopped the practice of supplying the native tribes with all the guns, ammunition, and rum that they were accustomed to getting from the French. Why was that so infuriating to the Native Americans? They'd survived for thousands of years without such things, proof that they didn't really need them, right?

Pontiac's RebellionI thought that was a good question, so I went looking for answers.

What I found was more conjecture than solid fact, but it also made sense. Think of where the Native Americans were when the first Europeans landed on these shores. Their tools were stone, bone, clay, and maybe some soft metals that didn't need a forge. They had arrows, lances, clubs, and slings for weapons. Their clothing was almost all animal hides, although some had learned to spin and weave a bit of cloth from plants. For all intents and purposes, they were still in the stone age.

Along come the Europeans with metal cooking pots, steel knives, wool blankets, and guns. Guns! Can you imagine what those must have looked like to the first Native Americans who saw them fired? Like Alice through the looking glass, these things transported the native tribes into a whole new era. And make no mistake - they wanted it.

Pontiac wasn't about to let that go.

Who can blame him? Don't most of us want the latest technology? How many homes these days don't have a dishwasher? Or a microwave oven? Or even the new Instant Pot? Don't even get me started on the latest and greatest thousand-dollar smartphone. Or cars that drive themselves. See what I mean? It's human nature that was driving Pontiac and his followers. They didn't want to go backward.

Yet this once again falls short of the history "everybody knows." We haven't been taught that the Native Americans were the same as everyone else. That they wanted the new stuff of their era. That they liked cooking in metal pots and cutting meat with steel knives and wearing soft cloth. Or having the firepower of a gun that gave them the advantage over warring tribes as well as brought down a deer for supper.

The truth is - as I've hit upon throughout this series - that the Native Americans were just like people everywhere. That's neither good or bad ... it's just human nature. The challenge in writing about this era and these people is showing them in a balanced and historically accurate way.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Historic Boston: the highlights, part 2

Sometimes the best history is found in ... a cemetery.
One of our too-short stops in the North End of Boston (which I completely fell in love with!) was the Copps Hill Burying Ground. This cemetery was, as explained by one of the informational placards, transformed during the Victorian era from a simple "burying ground" to a park.
 (Forgive the odd formatting on this post--Blogger has changed things all up and it's much harder to get things to look the way one wishes them to!)
One of my favorite discoveries was the family tomb of Cotton Mather, his son Increase, and grandson Samuel. I remember reading about Cotton Mather in church history, so in nosing around the CQ archives for connections to him, I really enjoyed MaryLu Tyndall's article, Cotton Mather: Preacher to the Pirates!
(Note the furry resident taking refuge in the construction around the monument ...)

And my youngest daughter, trying to see how close she can get to the wild bunny ...
Amongst other things we saw on this particular morning was the Revere house. We lacked the time to go in and tour, but I snapped an awkward selfie, and turned to capture the way the colonial building abuts a more modern construction before we had to hurry on.


And then there was the beautiful Old North Church! More on that next time, because it deserves its own post ...


Friday, September 18, 2020

Colonial Quills September Tea Party & New Releases


When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?

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Carrie's giving away a copy of Dogwood Plantation in ebook or paperback (USA only unless Book Depository ships to your country) to one commenter on this blog post! 

A Cord of Three Strands

As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in Horsham, the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?

 Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.

 Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him.


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Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts' Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald's safe return, eagerly waiting for him ... until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost; Setting Two Hearts Free?

Buy Now: Setting Two Hearts Free ~ Releases October 6, 2020

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A beloved family nativity set follows four generations through time. In 1899, a mysterious newcomer helps Pastor Seth Shepherd save Christmas. In 1919, while journeying by train, Stella Shepherd befriends a war veteran and finds a reason to cease her wanderings. In 1945, Elodie Wise plans a fundraising ball with the help of her friend, a swanky Hollywood headliner. In 2020, Benjie Gabriel thinks the chef’s position she’s just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary, until she gets to know the owner. And as the Shepherd family grows through loving relationships, the nativity set also expands with new treasured pieces.

Released September 1!

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To celebrate this new release, Shannon is giving away one paperback copy of this collection, which she is thrilled to share with three very stellar authors!

The Black Rose

About the Book

1893 ~ Logging has reached its golden era in the growing stated of Wisconsin, and twin sisters Jesilyn and Coriann Beaumont enjoy a comfortable live with family in the bustling, Great Lake city of Superior--until jealousy incites Jesi to seduce Cori's fiance, certain she can claim his heart. When things don't go as planned, a flight and fall from grace lands her in a boom town brothel where a fresh start is denied her.

Camp preacher Paul Winter longs to offer hope in the carousing lumber and mining towns of northern Wisconsin, but his successes have been few, and he's begun to question his calling. Then his ministry is challenged in an unexpected way when he meets a lost and broken red-head he calls Pie Girl. Though willing to offer rescue, he's never had to battle his own longings quite this way before. 

Meanwhile, stung by Jesilyn's betrayal, Corianne finds refuge in refusing to forgive, but bitterness might separate her from a second chance at happiness. When tragedy causes fresh sparks between them, will love fail forever? Or is there a way for both women to begin new lives--and find budding love blooming in places neither of them expects?

Buy the book here, or read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Enter Naomi's Rafflecopter drawing to win a copy.

Deadline to enter Naomi's drawing is Sunday night, Sept. 20th.

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 Heart of a Warrior

by Angela K Couch

The Man She Fears Is Her Only Chance For Survival . . .

All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization's embrace, survival is not a skill she's learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.

Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother's tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life ... and his heart.

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To celebrate this release Angela will be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card! 



Be sure to come over to our Colonial Quills Online Facebook Party, too, tonight from 7-9 Eastern Time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Tina St. Clair Rice Reviews "Dogwood Plantation"

Dogwood Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Reviewed by Tina St. Clair Rice

Wow, what an intriguing story! Set in 1814 Charles City, Virginia at a local Dogwood Plantation with all its grandeur and beauty; giving the reader a glimpse of an era long past. With the vivid descriptions of the area, I felt as if I had been pulled into the very setting of this story: walking beside the river, strolling in the woods and riding along the Dogwood tree-lined plantation. The author’s extensive research is evident and the historical details are seamlessly woven within the fictional story-line bringing to life events of this era in our nation's history within the characters lives. I especially enjoyed the author’s notes regarding the historical aspects of the story-line. 

Cornelia Gill is not only a beautiful godly woman, but is strong, kind and the typical Southern lady, a bit feisty at times and not afraid to speak her mind. A favorite character. Her younger brother, Andy, is such a responsible young man in so many ways and another favorite character. Together they deal with the many challenges and heartaches they face with love and faith. Because of the deadly yellow fever outbreak, they face the loss of loved ones and neighbors. This ultimately impacts the dreams Cornelia had and changes her, and Andy’s, life in ways they had not envisioned. 

Injured veteran Carter Williams is handsome, dashing, brave and chivalrous. He too is impacted by the deadly yellow fever outbreak in surprising ways. Now the guardian of his five young nephews, his plans change as well. I enjoyed his nephews and their antics and the youngest one is adorable. The eldest nephew, Eddie, becomes a man overnight and bears the running of the plantation on his young shoulders. He too is a favorite character. I have lots of favorite characters in this story, a few characters I did not care for at first, however, I started to like them by the end of the story, and then there are the unscrupulous characters that have evil intents that I did not like at all. 

Cornelia and Carter often seem to be at odds with each other and I hoped that they would work out their differences and realize how they really feel about each other. Of course, there are some underlying elements that impact them together and apart. Emotions are high as they face seemingly insurmountable challenges and life-changing events.

This is a gripping, intriguing story filled with suspense, long held secrets revealed, horrors of slavery, sadness and grief, poverty, challenges and heartache, anger, forgiveness, multiple surprises, dog training, yellow fever epidemic, love and faith and learning to trust God and allow Him in every area of their lives. As a retired RN, I enjoy reading about the health practices of the era as in this story: injuries, illnesses, the deadly yellow fever epidemic and the treatments and medicinals utilized. There are some sensitive subjects of the time, but Carrie portrays them sensitively and without explicit descriptions; which I appreciate. 

Links to purchase:

CFP: Thank you, Tina! I'm so glad you enjoyed the Early American story world in this novel!

Readers, don't miss out on my RAFFLECOPTER Giveaway 

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Friday, September 11, 2020



SettingTwo Hearts Free, the third story of my Revolutionary War series releases October 6th, 2020. For those who haven’t read A Heart Set Free or A Heart For Freedom, this is a stand-alone story. 

This story picks up in 1781 five years after A Heart For Freedom ends and focuses on the younger generation. The war is winding down but the danger and challenges the characters face haven’t—and some will last long after leaving the battlefield.

Emotional, psychological, and some physical injuries may not be obvious but they have been with mankind since the beginning of time. It took until the late seventeenth century for the invisible wounds of war to be identified and those names varied depending on the war.

What we now refer to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was eventually accepted as a diagnosis in 1980. It can result from any incidents that cause intense anguish. It can begin during or after the event(s), be of short, periodic, or long duration, and be triggered unexpectedly by a myriad of causes.

Those who suffer from it can experience various problems such as loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, insomnia, physical weakness, anxiety, apathy, heart palpitations, irritability, fever, and depression.

The two main characters, as well as others, experience life-changing trauma in Setting Two Hearts Free:

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost, Setting Two Hearts Free?

Setting Two Heart Free is dedicated to all who suffer the invisible wounds of war and other trauma. And to their families and loved ones, sometimes struggling to best know how to help and cope.

A Heart Set Free ~ Selah Award for Historical Romance

A Heart For Freedom ~ Christian Inspy Award for Historical Fiction