10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Those Intrepid Travelers Who Traversed the Vast American Wilderness

Whenever driving across sections of the country, I've always been fascinated to think of how the early settlers, explorers, adventurers, and armies traversed the rugged distances of the wilderness. Nowadays, we can hop aboard a plane and barely have time to finish reading a novella before we land a thousand miles away. Or we can get into a car and not quite finish a novel before driving the hours across a couple of states. We look at the hills and valleys, we imagine the vastness of the tangled forests that were riddled with narrow Indian trails at best. In a flash, we drive over rivers that took hours to ford.

Yet, the remarkable thing of it all, to me, is that the colonists and fur traders and who-not seemed to go back and forth across this land with great frequency. It seems, in reading historical accounts, that Daniel Boone tramped back and forth with great regularity, and the voyageurs paddled many thousands of miles across the great lakes and up and down the mighty rivers.

I recently read of a British attempt, during the latter part of the Revolutionary War, to thwart the spread of America's hold on the western lands--particularly hoping to stop the advancement of American General George Rogers Clark and decimate his army--by planning a 3-prong attack on St. Louis in the center of the continent. Now, consider the vastness of this three-prong approach:

1. One force was to march northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

2. The second force was to march from Fort Detroit to Cahokia (across from St. Louis).

3. The third force was to trek from Lake Superior to the Mississippi River, and then follow the river to St. Louis.

Each of these would be a momentous tour for anyone nowadays with modern equipment at their disposal. Can you imagine such an attack, with each prong thousands of miles distant from each other, working its way through unsettled wilderness territory? Incidentally, it failed. But only incidentally. The fact that such a task was attempted simply blows my mind.

While I've often thought about the difficulty faced by pioneers moving into the west, knowing they'd likely never see their families "back home" again, these men who trekked back and forth over mountains and rivers seemed little daunted by the magnitude.

These are the things I think about when I travel. Do you think about them too?

In Song for the Hunter, my new novel available for pre-order, I deal largely with the travels of the voyageurs and fur traders across the great lakes, the area known as the "Upper Country", and the western Lake Superior region, especially along the south shore lands of Ouisconsin (Wisconsin).

Endorsements for Song for the Hunter

"A few pages into Song for the Hunter, Naomi Musch earned a spot on my list of favorite Christian historical fiction authors. What a joy to find another writer who shares my heart for telling cross-cultural stories in a frontier/wilderness setting—and discovering that writer's gorgeous, evocative prose brought the setting to such vivid life that I found myself often lingering over the imagery conjured. Characters Camilla and Bemidii (and a large supporting cast) came leaping off the pages straight into my heart. I couldn't turn those pages fast enough to discover how they charted a course through desperately entangled paths to find a clear way forward. Hope triumphs in this latest offering from gifted wordsmith and lover of history, Naomi Musch."

Lori Benton, Christy-Award winning author of Burning Sky and the Kindred duology, Mountain Laurel and Shiloh

"This beautifully written and immersive story will transport you back in time and keep you turning the pages! Naomi Musch's voice and style is the perfect balance of lyrical combined with cadence and word choice appropriate for the time and setting. Fans of Lori Benton and Laura Frantz will find this story a perfect addition to their libraries! Highly recommend."

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Award-winning and bestselling author, Behind Love's Wall

"In Song of the Hunter, the long-awaited sequel to Mist O’er the Voyageur, Naomi Musch transports us back to the waters of Lake Superior during the height of the fur trade. Cultures clash as an evil man sends ripples across the waters that will touch the hearts of many. It took strong people to survive the wild and unpredictable environment, and it would take strong people to find the truth and reconcile with it. The story is beautifully presented in a setting rich in the heritage of the people and the grandeur of nature. A must read for those who enjoy the rugged landscapes and rich cultures of America’s northern shores."

Pegg Thomas, Award-winning author of Sarah’s Choice

Naomi Musch

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Colonial Quills 10 Year Anniversary and New Release Tea Party!!!

We have winners for the blog portion of the 10th anniversary party! Thank you to everyone who dropped by to offer congratulations. Here's what we have so far. For Denise Weimer's book Bent Tree Bride, the winner is Kay M. For Naomi Musch's e-books Mist O'er the Voyageur and novelette A Long-Awaited Spring, the winner is ChappyDebbie. Pegg Thomas's In Sheep's Clothing went out to Gracie Yost and Beverly Duell-Moore. More to come...


Congratulations to our members with new releases!!!


DENISE WEIMER writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense, mostly set in her home state of Georgia. She’s authored a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas. As a managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she also helps others reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

Today, Denise will be giving away an e-book copy of her new release, Bent Tree Bride, set on the Alabama frontier in 1813, on both the blog and at the Facebook party.

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman.

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

Interested in winning a copy? Leave a comment about the book below and be sure to come chat at the Facebook party.

Monthly newsletter:

PEGG THOMAS writes Colonial American Fiction and her first full-length novel is releasing on August 3rd. Sarah's Choice takes place at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania, during the uprising known as Pontiac's Rebellion. Michelle Griep, Jocelyn Green, and Ann Gabhart have all endorsed this novel depicting one woman's struggle to survive in a time and place where the choices weren't easy and survival wasn't certain. 

To celebrate this CQ's anniversary, Pegg is giving away two ebook copies of her award-winning novella, In Sheep's Clothing. Mention SHEEP in your comments to be entered.

If you enjoy historical fiction and historical romance set around actual historical events and places, Follow Pegg here:

JANET GRUNST writes historical romances. She has a Revolutionary War series and a novella that takes place in 19th century Scotland and Ireland. Janet is a wife,

mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, inspire, and encourage readers. 

To celebrate our anniversary, Janet will be giving away to one commenter on the CQ blog an e-book copy of the third book in the series: Setting Two Hearts Free. 

Would their love survive the invisible wounds of war?

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?

Don't forget to also come by the Facebook party.

Naomi Musch is a multi-published author whose heart beats hardest for fiction set in America’s by-gone days. Her novel Mist O’er the Voyageur was a 2019 Selah Awards finalist and two-time Book of the Year finalist. It’s sequel Song for the Hunter will release in early 2022, as will Not for Love, her novella in Barbour’s Lumberjacks and Ladies collection, and another stand-alone novel Summer of My Enemy, from Barbour’s Heroines of WWII series. She believes a perfect day is spent working on a story, roaming about the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren. Readers can sign up for her newsletter and receive a free short story.

To celebrate CQ’s tenth anniversary and her upcoming release of Song for the Hunter, Naomi will give away an eBook of Mist O’er the Voyageur and the novelette A Long-Awaited Spring, which is also a prequel to next year’s release. If the winner has already read the first book, they may choose from any of her nine other available novels.

Website & Newsletter



Amazon Author Page

For as long as she can remember, Christy Distler has dreamed her most vivid dreams with her eyes wide open. Names became people—people who didn’t exist in this time and place but couldn’t have been more real in her heart and mind. So she did the only rational thing: gave them a voice by writing fiction.

Christy’s novels, whether historical or contemporary, delve into betrayal and reconciliation, faith and grace, and always involve the intertwining of cultures. When not writing, she works as an editor for publishing houses and independent authors.

Obsession with words aside, she’s also a wife and the mom of kids and dogs. She lives in the same Pennsylvania town where she grew up, less than two miles from where A Cord of Three Strands takes place.

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 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 with whom—he belongs.

A Cord of Three Strands weaves fact and fiction into a captivating portrayal of Colonial-era Quaker life, including Friends' roles in Pennsylvania Indian relations and in refuting slavery.

To celebrate Colonial Quills' tenth anniversary, Christy is giving away a copy of A Cord of Three Strands and a braided page marker like the one the characters make in the book. Enter by leaving a comment below. And for those who don't win but would like to read it, the ebook just happens to be on sale for $0.99 from 5/31/2021 through 6/5/2021.





Shannon McNear joined Colonial Quills in 2013, the same year as her debut novella Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection. Since then she has been blessed to mark the release of three more novellas (all historical romance), three full-length historical titles, and the completion of "long" full length historical releasing this coming December. After more than two decades in the Charleston, South Carolina, area, she makes her home on the northern prairies, but finds herself easily lost in history no matter where she is. You can connect with her at her website,, or on social media:
Giveaway: one copy of my most recent release, Love's Pure Light, containing my WWI story, The Wise Guy and the Star. This 4-novella collection, with co-authors Susanne Dietze, Janine Roche, and Deborah Raney, features an heirloom nativity handed down through several generations, spanning the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Please leave a comment about the book (or if you prefer one of my other titles, mention that as well), or come chat with me at 1:45 EDT at the Facebook party!

To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after five munchkins. She is very excited for this coming year and the release of two new novels: A Rose for the Resistance set during WWII and a part of Barbour house's WWII Heroine series, and Where Wild Roses Bloom a sweeping adventure featuring our favorite lawmen in red, Mounties. To be kept in the loop on all the exciting books coming, sign up for Angela's newsletter here: 
You can also connect with her and learn more about her books on her website:
Angela will be giving away to one of today's guests their choice of her colonial e-books from her Hearts at War series:

What a thrill to be celebrating 10 years of Colonial Quills blogging!!! When we got started back then, I'd been advised that most blogs only lasted maybe five years. So we've definitely beaten the odds! Altbough I am the Founder and Admin of the blog, it is the contributors who keep the blog going. Thank you to all of them for their wonderful posts!

During the past decade since we began the blog, I've had over twenty publications. My latest release, Butterfly Cottage is a Women's Fiction, Contemporary Christian Fiction. How FUN that the three heroines in the story are all descendants of one of the first colonial characters I ever researched -- William Christy!!! Inspired by real-life William Christy, a scout, I've written a number of stories with William in them and also his descendants! So this is really fun to have come full-circle from Colonial times to the present over the course of this past ten years! I'm giving away an autographed paperback or a kindle copy to a blog commenter!

I have a new release audiobook Dogwood Plantation set in the Early American Period.  I've got audiobook codes to give away here on the blog and at the online Facebook Party!

Link to our party on Facebook: From 1-3 pm on Wednesday May 26th



Monday, May 17, 2021

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend

 by Denise Weimer

Today we take a gander at the decisive battle of the Creek War or Red Stick War, which waged from 1813-14 on the Southeastern frontier as part of the War of 1812 … the setting for my latest historical romance, Bent Tree Bride. My posts have followed the movements of allied Tennessee militia and the Cherokee Regiment under General Andrew Jackson into the hostile Creek Territory of modern-day Alabama, where they fought against the Red Stick Creeks allied to the British. A series of campaigns and battles in fall of 1813 wound down to a cold and hungry winter for those soldiers whose enlistments continued. Most of the Americans lodged at Fort Strother that winter, while the Cherokees were based at Fort Armstrong. A contingent also guarded Principal Chief Path Killer at the Cherokee village of Turkey Town.

In mid-January, impatient for action, Jackson took fresh recruits against the enemy at Emuckfau, where he found the Red Sticks more difficult to vanquish than expected. On his way back north, he was attacked again while taking his cannon across Enitachopco Creek.

By March, Fort Strother swelled with new recruits, and Jackson was ready to land the final blow on the last major Red Stick village of Tohopeka in a teardrop peninsula of the Tallapoosa River. He sent his Cherokee Regiment ahead to scout and burn deserted Creek villages and his engineers to widen narrow trails for cannon and supply wagons.

On Sunday, March 27, 1814, Colonel Gideon Morgan’s five hundred Cherokees and Major William McInstosh’s one hundred National (friendly) Creeks were ordered to come up from behind the town to prevent enemy escape. Hundreds of Red Stick warriors gathered behind a five-to-eight-foot wall of logs and rock-hard mud. Jackson fired his three- and six-pound artillery at the barricade for two hours to no effect.

Across the river, the Cherokees grew impatient. Several warriors swam the Tallapoosa to commandeer canoes on the opposite bank, ferrying their comrades across under fire. They took captives and burned huts at the rear of the village, the smoke alerting Jackson of the wisdom of an infantry assault on the wall. Young Ensign Sam Houston was among the first to heed his mortally wounded commander’s summons to scale the wall, taking an arrow in his thigh. Dozens fell dead every minute as the cannons were dragged to the barricade and fired on retreating Red Sticks, and the Cherokees corralled the enemy from the rear.

Re-enactors at Horseshoe Bend
By late afternoon, the Red Sticks abandoned the fight but were killed while trying to flee across the river. Fighting continued until darkness fell. The next day, the armies returned north, though Jackson took a band of men along the Coosa to round up remaining prisoners. By April, Creek Chief Red Eagle walked into Jackson’s camp and turned himself in. Months later, Jackon negotiated peace with the Creeks and took 20 million acres of their land, sending much of the tribe west. Their bid to keep their land through alliance with the British had failed. Despite their invaluable service to the American troops, within two decades, the Cherokees’ hopes for peaceful coexistence with white settlers would also be crushed.

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 the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of almost a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! 

Bent Tree Bride:

Connect with Denise here:
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Friday, May 7, 2021

Let's Make Colonial Cookies!

Every now and again I get an urge to investigate a Colonial recipe. I want to make something palatable to my modern diet, so most of the recipes I try incorporate those changes that benefit my tastes. That said, I always discover some interesting historical tidbit in the process. 

In an effort to come up with some new munchies to go into my hubby's lunch, I decided to try some very basic cookies and found a great recipe for Colonial Cookies from the website. Join me in the process, won't you? 

In searching for a likely recipe, I realized first off that sugar in the colonial period was not the refined, white grains we buy packaged in five-pound bags. As sugar was mostly supplied from the Caribbean at the hands of slaves, it was basically sugar cane that had been boiled and strained a number of times. Then the final product was placed in cone-shaped molds to harden, much like a modern sugar cube.

Colonial households had in their kitchen chest of implements a tool called a sugar nippers for breaking off chunks of sugar from the cone as required. Sugar nippers came in a variety of sizes, and you can find antique nippers for sale online as well as reproductions. Here is a good example of a sugar nipper reproduction and sugar cones that are available from 

I have to admit that I'm tempted to own a pair for decoration.

Oats came to America in the 17th century and were in plentiful supply in the colonies, though it, too, was not always the product we know today. Then oats might be ground or crushed, and whole oats might simply be set to soak overnight and then cooked easily in the morning. I will use common "old-fashioned" oatmeal for my recipe, not the quick-cook variety.

These are very basic Colonial oatmeal cookies with nothing fancy added, and I'm going to double the recipe below, because I'm a grandma and that cookie jar needs to be full! 

However, regarding substitutions, I'm going to use brown sugar as my sugar cone replacement, and I'm also going to use shortening made with meat fats (no vegetable oil shortening here) to replace half the butter. The shortening made with meat fats (available everywhere) makes a flakier, yummier baked product, especially in pie crusts. It keeps the texture for cookies and sometimes improves it. It also saves on the butter bill when I'm making extra large batches. I think "lard" would also be a common replacement in colonial America, though they probably often saved their fats for making tallow candles.

Colonial Cookies

Here's the easy recipe from, but watch the video below if you want a good laugh. Yes, I am a screw-up. You can watch me neglect one main ingredient and add another twice.

But guess what...the cookies still turned out great! I will definitely make these again!

1 c. sugar (I chose brown.)
1 c. butter (I use half shortening made from meat fats.)
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. oatmeal

Combine together. Mix all ingredients like pie crust until soft; flatten small balls of dough on ungreased pan.

Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen.

This is why I don't have a food channel:

And here's my evaluation of how they turned out:

There you have it, folks. colonial cookies from a modern kitchen. Yummy! They did want to crumble easily, so next time instead of adding twice the baking soda (oops! 😏) I might add an egg to help the dough bind better. 

I have news!

The pre-order is available for BOTH Song for the Hunter and the Lumberjacks and Ladies novella collection! Click on the covers or the Amazon links to find out more!

Song for the Hunter on Amazon

Lumberjacks and Ladies on Amazon

Monday, April 19, 2021

Creek War Battles of Tallushatchee and Talladega

by Denise Weimer

This year, leading up to the April 13 release of my Southeastern frontier romance, Bent Tree Bride, I’ve been delving into the history behind the novel and its setting, the Creek War, or Red Stick War. This military action during the fall of 1813 through the spring of 1814 saw the Red Stick Creeks allied to the British as part of the War of 1812, while the Cherokees allied to the Americans under General Andrew Jackson. When the Red Stick Creeks began to attack the peaceful National Creek faction, the National Creeks called for help. Then Mississippi militia tangled with the Red Sticks at Burnt Corn Creek and Fort Mims. Tennessee and Georgia militia rallied, and the Cherokee Council pledged five to seven hundred volunteers for a Cherokee Regiment.

In my last post, we followed the main body of Tennessee militia into Creek Territory, to the newly and roughly constructed, hundred-yard-square Fort Strother at the junction of the Coosa River and Canoe Creek. From the Indian Agency at Hiwassee, the Cherokee troops navigated the mountains of Northern Alabama by way of the Cherokee village of Turkey Town. There they learned the Red Sticks had gathered in a nearby village. The Cherokees set out on their own to confront them, finding the victims of General Coffee’s Tennessee militia at Tallushatchee … where my conflicted Cherokee lieutenant first tests himself in action. General Jackson had captured two Creeks who revealed the Red Sticks were gathering at Tallushatchee, twenty-five miles south of Turkey Town.

General Coffee
On the morning of November 3, 1813, Jackson dispatched Brigadier General Coffee and 900 men to encircle the hostiles. Lieutenant James Patterson’s troops drew the Creeks out. They charged the right column, then retreated. At first, it seemed casualties would be few, but about four dozen Red Sticks retreated to a single log building. When General Coffee’s dragoons approached the door, a weak old Creek woman stretched a bow with her feet and killed a lieutenant. Davy Crockett, present with the Tennessee militia, later reported that this sent the troops into a rage. They killed the woman and set the house on fire, burning it with forty-six warriors inside. The Red Sticks fought desperately but were defeated. Cabins were razed and those inside burned alive. Nineteen Creek women and children were brought from hiding in the woods and taken as slaves.

Most of the Cherokee Regiment arrived too late to witness or take part in what was later called a massacre. The orders of Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs had specified women and children were not to be killed in combat. Coffee blamed the outcome on the civilians hiding in their homes. At this battle, General Jackson claimed an infant, Lyncoya, whose mother had been killed. The child was ten months old, the same age as Jackson’s adopted son, Andrew Jr. When Creek women prisoners refused to care for him, Jackson sent him to his wife in Nashville.

While Jackson’s forces returned from Tallushatchee, Red Stick warriors besieged National Creeks at Fort Leslie/Lashley near present-day Talladega, Alabama. A National Creek son of a chief escaped wrapped in a hog skin to inform Jackson. Jackson sent orders for Colonel Gideon Morgan’s Cherokee Regiment to join his own troops for the attack, but General John Cocke tossed the order and commandeered the Cherokees for another use, destroying the Creek towns of the Hillabee region. These towns had asked for peace, but Cocke rode against them before General Jackson’s acceptance could reach them. Whether the general knew Jackson had accepted their surrender or not remained in question, but his actions made the Cherokee Regiment unwitting aggressors.

On November 9, Jackson encircled Fort Leslie/Lashley with 1200 infantry and 800 cavalry. The Creeks attacked, and the militia retreated, allowing the warriors to escape. Without the Cherokees to assist, more than seven hundred Red Stick Creeks escaped to regroup. The scene was set for a harsh, starving winter with the army holed up at Fort Strother, the conflict only to be resolved by the massive spring battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Battle of Talladega

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 the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!

Bent Tree Bride is now available!

Connect with Denise here:

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