Autumn Tea Party winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' giveaway of Mercy in a Red Cloak goes to Michelle. Denise Weimer's print copy of The Witness Tree goes to Roxanne C. Janet Grunst's winner of a print copy of The Highlanders is Alison Boss. Naomi Musch's winner of an ebook copy of The Highlanders is Sally D. Angela Couch's winners for ebook copies of choice of the Hearts of War series are Linda Palmer and Judy (heyjudybat). Congratulations, all! Please private message your e-mail or mailing address to the authors.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Cherokee-American Wars

Phase Two, 1783-1794

by Denise Weimer

"The Cherokees Are Coming," Knoxville, 1793
Their marriage of convenience offers Moravian missionaries John and Clarissa Kliest enough of a challenge in my novel releasing this month, The Witness Tree. But it’s certainly not the only hardship they face. It’s 1805, and the couple join a party journeying from the quaint town of Salem, North Carolina, into Cherokee Indian Territory. John, a builder and surveyor, and Clarissa, a linguist and teacher, are to lend their expertise at a mission school for children of the Cherokee chiefs in what is now Northwest Georgia. John yearns for adventure, but the fact that those same Indians were at war with the Americans just above a short decade ago makes Clarissa more than a little nervous.

In today’s post, we’re looking at the second part of The Cherokee-American Wars, 1783-1794, that led up to my story.

After siding with the British in the American Revolution, the Cherokees relocated westward and southward to the “Five Lower Towns.” They became known as the Lower Cherokee. Encroaching settlers forced many Cherokees to sign the Treaty of Hopewell in 1785, but dissatisfaction and Spanish support led to the Cherokee War of 1786. Warriors of Chief Dragging Canoe and a large contingent of Creek Indians attacked White’s Fort near modern Knoxille, then raided along the upper Holston, Cumberland, and even into Kentucky. John Sevier sent soldiers to attack Valley Towns, ending in the Treaty of Coyatee. However, many Cherokees joined a Western Confederacy of Native Americans formed in 1786 and continued raids and campaigns.

Around 1790, a couple of years before the death of Dragging Canoe, a chief named Doublehead came to prominence, working largely independent of the Lower Cherokees. In a 1793 incident, his warriors cooked and ate their enemies. At Cavett’s Station, Tennessee, he and his warriors killed settlers, mainly women and children, who had surrendered. Chief James Vann, who later invited the Moravian missionaries to his plantation, succeeded in saving one boy from Doublehead’s ax. After that day, Vann and Doublehead became lifelong enemies, and Doublehead earned the moniker “Babykiller.”

The frontier war finally ended in 1794, after U.S. Army Regulars burned the villages of Nickajack and Running Water. The Treaty of Tellico Blockhouse was signed in November of 1794. After this time, former warriors dominated governance of the Cherokee Nation, leading it into an era of education, diplomacy, and attempted assimilation with the Americans. They even fought alongside the Americans in the Creek War, part of the War of 1812. I’ve got a story coming about that too! But if you haven’t read The Witness Tree yet, check it out at (The Witness Tree on Amazon).

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for Smitten Historical Romance imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

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Friday, November 8, 2019

Land of the Free Because of the Brave

On Veteran’s Day, we honor all who have served our country in the armed forces, past and present. We all owe a debt of gratitude to these men and women.

Coming from a military family, and with sons and a son-in-law who are career military officers, I’m well aware of the personal cost to the families. “They also serve who only stand and wait” to quote John Milton.

From the earliest days of our new nation, men left the comfort of home to take up arms to preserve the independence our founders envisioned and declared. People from all segments of society put aside their lives, activities, and obligations to train and fight for the freedoms we continue to enjoy.

Throughout our history, many service members lost their lives while others often came home with devastating injuries. Some returned with less obvious wounds facing challenges few understood.

The third story in my Revolutionary War series is now contracted. It deals with some of the invisible wounds of war.

It’s 1781 and the former colonies continue their fight to maintain their independence. Much of the action has moved into the southern states where Donald Duncan is serving with the Continental Army in the Carolinas.

Five years have passed since Mary Stewart last saw Donald Duncan. What impact will the long separation have on their relationship?

The horrors both Donald and Mary have experienced has changed them. Surviving the war and separation is half their battle. The invisible wounds of war will make facing the future an even greater challenge. Learning to live with trauma, and accept them in each other, will require humility and forbearance.

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, 
forbearing one another in love. ”
Ephesians 4:2

Monday, November 4, 2019

Review of The Witness Tree by Tina St. Clair Rice

Set in Salem, North Carolina and Northwest Georgia in the early 1800s. Denise Weimer takes the reader on a remarkable journey into the past filled with detailed historical elements and painting vivid word-pictures that had me “walking” alongside the characters. I learned about the Moravian people, their way of life, faith and mission to the Cherokee people as well as the lives of the Cherokee people. Two very different cultures with their own unique customs, languages and faith. With a communication barrier and such culture differences, can these two groups of people learn from each other, share the love of God and become friends?

The two main characters, John Kliest and Clarissa Volger, certainly have a huge undertaking ahead of them as they venture into the uncharted frontier---which is daunting enough---add a wedding into the mix is sure to cause even more challenges. I wouldn’t want my husband picked for me in the way Clarissa’s was. Can they overcome their differences, learn to trust each other, allow God to lead them and find love in their new marriage?

As part of the mission, Clarissa is to record the Cherokee language and put it in a written Cherokee syllabary; which I find fascinating. There are those within the Cherokee people who do not want their language recorded and take action to prevent that. The meaning of the “witness tree” and what it represents is an interesting aspect of the story-line. I especially enjoy the historical notes the author includes in the book bringing much detail and depth to the story-line. The Witness Tree is filled with adventure, suspense, romance, dangers, heartache, fears, joys, history that comes to life and faith. A remarkable story.

The Witness Tree on Amazon

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Battle of Bushy Run (Part 2) Ambush and Aftermath

Hey CQ Readers!

Thanks to so many of you for joining us a few nights ago at our Fall New Releases Party. It was a delight seeing so many familiar names and meeting new guests.

Last month, I wrote about The Battle of Bushy Run, and today I'm following up with a conclusion about that wilderness melee. Pontiac's War--and the Battle of Bushy Run in particular--is the incident that kicks off my story A Tender Siege in The Highlanders collection, releasing in only two weeks (Nov. 15th). 

In my previous post about this historic battle, we left off with Colonel Bouquet having marched troops and supplies on 340 pack horses deep into the wilderness. When he was 25 miles from Fort Pitt (about a four-day's march) his troops took a brief respite along a small creek where they could refill their canteens. Colonel Bouquet's intent had been to rest the men, then march them overnight through the high and craggy hills of Turtle Creek, but then the unthinkable happened.

The Ambush

There they were, exhausted, thirsty, sweltering in the heat, when war cries and shots echoed out of the thickly forested hills around them. The Indians rained down upon the army's advanced guard, surprising them with sudden ferocity. As soon as Bouquet drove them back, they reappeared again on another flank. As the entire army fell under attack, this pattern went on for hours in the August heat. Troops split apart into pockets of men, fighting as they could. Others charged in small columns up the slopes, but the natives pressed on. Eventually, by continually reinforcing their attack from first one place and then another, the natives surrounded Bouquet's 500 men and attacked the convoy left in the rear. 

The Indians that ambushed Bouquets troops of Highlanders and Royal Americans were the same Indians that had besieged Fort Pitt, which the army had been marching to relieve. The Indians had earlier discovered that troops were on their way to bring that relief, and withdrew from the fort to surprise the troops. 

Bouquet ordered a retreat to protect his supplies. The men marched backward up the slope of Edge Hill having already suffered a loss of 60 killed and wounded.

My Hero

In A Tender Siege, this is where we meet my hero Lachlan McRea. Having fallen to a bullet wound, Lachlan becomes separated from his troops. With the smoke of gunfire filling the woods, and war cries coming from one place and then another, Lachlan can only lie still enough to try and remain undetected in the bush. His heart is torn though. While part of him would rather keep his scull from being cleaved by a tomahawk's blade, another part begs God to take him to his wife Moira and their child, both dead these five years past.  

Meanwhile on Edge Hill

The battle, which began at one in the afternoon, now silenced with the dusk. The troops arranged their store of flour sacks into a fortification to protect the wounded and then set up their defense positions. With nervous anticipation, they expected the attack to begin again at dawn, which it did.

With the sunrise, the same yelping and shrieks began from 500 yards distant. Like before, the shouts came from areas surrounding the army--first here, then echoing there. Perhaps the Indians hoped to terrify the army with their numbers. It remains unclear as to exactly how many warriors were actually involved in the ambush. Historically, some have thought from as few as 110 to hundreds, while modern historians suggest that there were actually smaller numbers that moved around a lot to appear as more.

Depiction of Battle of Bushy Run
The Bushy Run battlefield remains the only preserved battlefield from Pontiac's War in the nation.

Reverse Ambush!

When things appeared their bleakest, Bouquet determined to make a move both daring and brilliant. In hoping to force a concentrated attack by the Indians', he then commanded his men to intentionally weaken the southwest side of their position by withdrawing into a feigned retreat. This had the effect of opening that side like a horseshoe, and the attackers came in. 

Bouquet then sent two companies of light infantry undetected to swing around to the east in order to attack the exposed Native American force. The forces, in effect, looped around and turned the whole business inside out, so that the Indians were now being ambushed instead. Bouquet's forces kept up an unrelenting fire, pursuing the enemy until they were dispersed. 

Colonel Bouquet writes, "The left of the savages which had not been attacked were kept in awe by the remains of our troops posted on the hill for that purpose. Nor durst they attempt to support nor assist their right, but being witness to their defeat, followed their example and fled."

The roads now being cleared, the companies of Bouquet's army were able to take the hill to the front. As soon as litters for the wounded could be made and the flour destroyed (burned) for lack of pack horses to carry it, they marched on without further molestation.

In Hindsight

The troops had last seen Pontiac's warriors heading west back toward Fort Pitt, so they didn't know what to expect. But in hindsight, we know that the Battle of Bushy Run ended the siege at Fort Pitt, and actually brought and end to the war itself, as the Native American coalition fragmented with their defeat. The British still had the problem of resupplying and rebuilding Fort Pitt, but the tide of history had definitely turned.

But what about Lachlan?

After the battle, Bouquet counted fifty men killed, sixty wounded, and five missing. I chose Lachlan to become one of those missing men. 

Hanging between life and death, between reality and visions, Lachlan drags himself through the forest. He's afraid to return to the Forbes Road, unsure who has won the battle. Pillars of distant smoke coming from the direction of Bouquet's forces could mean anything. Through a veil of pain, Lachlan turns northward instead. His journey soon reaches its limits however. It is then he is discovered by an unlikely rescuer.

Pontiac's War, August 1763: 

"I beg Ye to take me." Wounded in battle in the Ameridan wilderness, Lachlan McRea of His Majesty's 42nd Highlanders pleads with God, yearning to be reunited with his lost wife and child. As death hovers near, he is discovered by Wenonah, a native widow doing all she can to survive alone while avoiding the attentions of a dangerous Shawnee warrior. In aiding one another, their perils increase, but if Lachlan can let go of the woman he once loved, he might yet find healing for both body and soul.

It's also the final day to get this special deal:
(Expires 8 a.m. Nov. 2)

I hope you'll love all these stories that seek to mine history in light of life as it was back then. Blessings to you, and have a treasured Thanksgiving.

Naomi Musch

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Autumn Tea Party for CQ Authors' New Releases!

Welcome to our Colonial Quills Autumn Tea Party for our authors' new releases!!! Come on in and take a place by the fire as we serve you tea and treats!

Carrie Fancett Pagels:

Mercy in a Red Cloak audiobook

I'm delighted that my colonial-era suspenseful romance is available in paperback, ebook, and now audiobook! Set during the time of Pontiac's War, after the French-Indian War, it took me about seven years to finally have this story released. The audiobook narrator is Bill Anciaux, at fine narrator and he brought Shadrach Clark's and Mercy Clarke's story to life.

Storyline: Famed colonial scout, Shadrach Clark, is sought out in the Straits of Mackinac, when he has gone missing. His dear friend, Mercy, whose circuit-rider father is also missing, joins in the search. Set during the time of Pontiac's War, can love still blossom?

GIVEAWAY: An autographed paperback copy!

Four lovely stories in this collection from Barbour Publishing. I was delighted to write another Mackinac Island-set story. This novella begins right before my Maggie Award winning story My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. I had so much fun writing this story because I got to hang out with some of my favorite characters again, such as little Jack Welling.

In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894

Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes.

Denise Weimer:

Today I'm celebrating the release of The Witness Tree, my historical romance set in 1805 Cherokee Territory. 

Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother.

Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets.

The Witness Tree on Amazon

I'll be sharing more about the Moravians and Cherokees during my 5:30 time slot on the Facebook party, when I'll also be giving away e-book copies of both The Witness Tree and my new contemporary romance, Fall Flip (Fall Flip on Amazon), plus a Moravian-themed goody pack. If you'd like to win a PRINT copy of The Witness Tree, leave a comment here on our blog (U.S.).

Janet Grunst:

Janet Grunst here. Thanks for joining us for our fall release party.

I’m privileged to be a part of THE HIGHLANDERS, the second Smitten Historical Romance Collection that releases November 15th. While the four stories are all about men from the Scottish Highlands, two are set in America and two are set during the Colonial period. They are all quite different from each other. My story The Year Without Summer takes place in 1816 in the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland. At the party, I'll share some fun details about the book's cover and more about the stories.

I will be giving away a signed copy of The Highlanders to one USA commenter on the blog. Enjoy the party. 

Naomi Musch

Hi there, Colonial Quills Readers! Everyone finished brewing their tea yet? I’ll just stir a dollop of honey into my cup while I tell you about my upcoming release, also in THE HIGHLANDERS collection, available for pre-order and going live on November 15th

In this novella collection spanning two centuries and featuring Highlander heroes, my story A TENDER SIEGE is about grieving widow Lachlan McRea of his Majesty’s 42 Highlanders wounded during Pontiac’s War in the Battle of Bushy Run. Begging God to take him, and longing only to see his lost wife and child again, Lachlan is discovered by Wenonah, an Odawa widow living on her own precarious edge of safety and need. In aiding one another, Lachlan and Wenonah’s perils increase, but if he can let go of the woman he once loved, he might yet find healing for both body and soul.

The Highlanders Collection is four novellas spanning two centuries, with four distinct authors’ voices, settings, and story styles. Pre-order is available, and by signing up for my newsletter, you can get a sneak peek at the complete first chapter of A TENDER SIEGE.
Another recent release of mine isn’t Colonial, but I hope you’ll take a peek. THE BRIGHTEST HOPE concludes my Echoes of the Heart WWI and post war series. 

Holly Allen is a well-adjusted war widow who’s developed a knack for running the family press. Her world is turned upside down when she hires “front man” Hugh Phelps to give customers the man-in-charge image they want. With the ghosts of his past, Hugh is anything but a white knight riding in to sweep her away from her cares. Yet when new beginnings finally do seem possible, old heartaches from the war come calling. Now it might only be in letting go of everything dear that they both discover what real love is.

Want to enter to win a signed, full paperback set of the series? Copy and Share the image below on social media and tag me in the post, and I’ll add your name to the drawing. (If it’s easier, you can go to my FB author page or Twitter profile page and share it from there.)


Angela Couch 

Nothing like a tea party to warm spirits. Not that there was much time for tea or parties in the middle of the war for American freedom. After three years, my Hearts at War series is complete:

It started deep in the Mohawk Valley with the Battle of Oriskany, where Rachel Garnet looses her father and stumbles upon (quite literally) a wounded British captain. They don't expect him to last the night, but when he starts to recover, how will they keep his presence a secret?

 Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility meets the wilderness of Colonial America.

Book two took us south with Daniel Reid. After three years service in the Colonial Army, and he's still not ready to go home to the Mohawk Valley. He takes a message to the legendary Swamp Fox, and finds himself in a tangle of spies and intrigue, where he can't be certain who he can trust.

Book four brought us home. Burying his wife is the hardest thing Joseph Garnet has done, until he's called to leave his young son and baby daughter to fight Iroquois raiders. When one of the marauders tries to steal his horse, the last thing he expects is to end up tussling with a female. The girl is wounded, leaving Joseph little choice but to haul her home to heal—an act that seems all too familiar.

And finally, it all comes together.
The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King's Ranger.
Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she'd lost hope of ever experiencing.
With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can't risk staying. Not if he loves her.

Read more and find buy links on my website: www.angelakcouch.com 

Between here and the facebook party, I will be giving away an e-book of each of these stories!
Our Facebook Party begins at 5 pm Eastern Time tonight, October 30th, 2019.

Comment here on the blog for giveaways associated with this post and come by the Tea Party tonight for more fun and giveaways! As always, thank you so much for celebrating with us!