.

Tea Party Winners: Vicki Talley McCollum's Never Say Goodbye, A National Park Romance novella goes to: Caryl Kane, Deanne Patterson, Deana Dick, Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners Beverly Duell-Moore and Cindy Pratt, Roseanna White's winners - Betti Mace, Gabrielle Meyer's winners -, Deb Marvin's paperback winner - Rachel Dodson

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fiction Sampler: The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

The Colonel's Lady
Laura Frantz
Revell, August 2011


Author Laura Frantz brings us her new novel, The Colonel's Lady. Laura credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's ancestors followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late eighteenth century and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. She has also authored the highly acclaimed The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little.



"Laura Frantz portrays the wild beauty of frontier life, along with its dangers and hardships, in vivid detail."--Ann H. Gabhart



In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father's place as scrivener. Before long, it's clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own--some of which have to do with her father's sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?




Kentucke Territory, November 1779

This is madness.

Roxanna Rowan leaned against the slick cave entrance and felt an icy trickle drop down the back of her neck as she bent her head. Her right hand, shaky as an aspen leaf, caressed the cold steel of the pistol in her pocket. Being a soldier’s daughter, she knew how to use it. Trouble was she didn’t want to. The only thing she’d ever killed was a copperhead in her flower garden back in Virginia, twined traitorously among scarlet poppies and deep blue phlox.

An Indian was an altogether different matter.

The cave ceiling continued to weep, echoing damply and endlessly and accenting her predicament. Her eyes raked the rosy icicles hanging from the sides and ceiling of the cavern. Stalactites. Formed by the drip of calcareous water, or so Papa had told her in a letter. She’d never thought to see such wonders, but here she was, on the run from redskins and Redcoats in the howling wilderness. And in her keep were four fallen women and a mute child.

They were huddled together further down the cavern tunnel, the women’s hardened faces stiff with rouge and fright. Nancy. Olympia. Dovie. Mariah. And little Abby. All five were looking at her like they wanted her to do something dangerous. Extending

one booted foot, she nudged the keelboat captain. In the twilight she saw that the arrow protruding from his back was fletched with turkey feathers. He’d lived long enough to lead them to the mouth of the cave—a very gracious gesture—before dropping dead. Thank You, Lord, for that. But what on earth would You have me do now? A stray tear leaked from the corner of her left eye as she pondered their predicament.

The Indians had come out of nowhere that afternoon—in lightning-quick canoes—and the women had been forced to abandon the flatboat and flee in a pirogue to the safer southern shore, all within a few miles of their long-awaited destination. Fort Endeavor was just downriver, and if they eluded the Indians, they might reach it on foot come morning. Surely a Shawnee war party would rather be raiding a vessel loaded with rum and gunpowder than chasing after five worthless women and a speechless child.

“Miz Roxanna!” The voice cast a dangerous echo.

Roxanna turned, hesitant to take her eyes off the entrance lest the enemy suddenly appear. Her companions had crept further down the tunnel, huddled in a shivering knot. And then Olympia shook her fist, her whisper more a shout.

“I’d rather be took by Indians than spend the night in this blasted place!”

There was a murmur of assent, like the hiss of a snake, and Roxanna plucked her pistol from her pocket. “Ladies,” she said, stung by the irony of the address. “I’d much rather freeze in this cave than roast on some Indian spit. Now, are you with me or against me?”

The only answer was the incessant plink, plink, plink of water. Turning her back to them, she fixed her eye on the ferns just be- yond the cave entrance, studying the fading scarlet and cinnamon and saffron woods. With the wind whipping and rearranging the leaves, perhaps their trail would be covered if the Indians decided to pursue them. They’d also walked in a creek to hide their passing. But would it work? Roxanna heaved a shaky sigh.

I’m glad Mama’s in the grave and Papa doesn’t know a whit about my present predicament.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us, Carla! This is such a great book and has everything - great characterization, story, voice, and is in the genre and subgenre that I love and written by a fabulous author!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bless you, Carla, and Carrie! And thanks so much for including Revell's book trailer here. It's been a whirlwind of a month so far and it's wonderful to have such support from CQ!! I can't thank you enough for all you've done in sharing our love of good Christian fiction in this genre and our passion for history:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is our pleasure and privilege, Laura!!
    I am absolutely drooling at this and cannot wait to begin reading. I've saved my lovely copy for my trip! Truly we thank you for writing such wonderful books for us to enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ooh, Carla, soon you will be drooling for a different reason...that Colonel McLinn, he's something else! LOL Sorry, ladies, I get carried away easily when it comes to Laura's books and her, uh, well,...heroes. haha

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, you ladies sure tickle me:) I hope you have such a great trip that you have no time to read, dear Carla:) Save that silly book for winter!! And Diana, so happy that red-haired rogue won your heart despite his bright locks;) He won mine... Wish Carrie and the rest of us could meet in CW and sip some iced tea. And talk books!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know we're supposed to discuss TCL (I just screeched in here under the line) but I have to ask you...nay--put you on the spot, Laura: What happened to Captain Jack?
    O.K., picture me with my eyes scrunched shut, clenching my teeth and wincing in case it's sad.
    Then I will move on to TCL, and um, Col. McLinn. Alas, I hate being fickle!

    ReplyDelete
  7. For those that haven't read The Colonel's Lady, add it to top of your TBR pile!! It's simply amazing!!

    Can't wait to share my review on the 14th during Revell's Blog Tour. : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michelle, can we get the link from you? We are trying to put those up top!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pat, you are not the only one with that burning question! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I will definitely do that, Carrie! : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pat, I apologize as I just now read your comment! With the release of this book, things are a bit crazy, so am just tuning in here again:) I still get regular mail about CJ, as I call him;) I had a letter asking that very question just last week. I can't remember if I told you that I'd written a sequel to TFD but Revell didn't ask to see it. In it I tied up those loose threads. Lael and Ian go to Scotland and he is lost at sea (supposedly), thus Lael returns to Kentucke with their child to live atop the land he bought her as a wedding gift. Ransom is still there and decides to push north to hunt for Ezekial Click (the man who isn't really even his father. Remember, Neddy is). Ransom and Jack meet up and search together. Lael stays at the cabin with Ian's child. Ian does come back after Lael renews her friendship with Jack. As you can see, the complications are endless:) I never wanted to kill Jack though left the possibility open that he had died of the smallpox or in battle or had moved west. I wanted readers to make up their own minds. BTW, he was never in the original manuscript. I put him in later as a foil to Ian. Sigh...

    Thanks for asking - and bless you all for the great comments!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!