7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fiction - The Chamomile by Susan Craft, Reviewed by Guest, Diana Flowers

The Chamomile (October, 2011)
by Susan Craft
Published by Ingalls Publishing Group

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
Adventure in the Colonies!
Susan sweeps us away on a colonial journey to British-occupied Charlestown, SC. in the year 1780, a time of danger and mixed loyalities. Even though the British require Lilyan Cameron and her brother Andrew to sign a document of loyalty to the British Crown, they are true-blue patriots...willing to give their lives if necessary, for freedom from oppressive British rule. Andrew ends up a prisoner on a notorious British ship, and Lilyan must somehow find a way to rescue him...with the help of one handsome, charming Nicholas Xanthakos, a scout with Francis Marian.

Lilyan becomes a spy, putting her life and those around her in much danger, including her life-long Cherokee friend, Elizabeth, who is almost raped by a British officer. Will she be able to rescue Andrew from the ship where starvation and deprivation rule?...and what huge role does the "chamomile" play in helping the Patriot spies to communicate one with another? As Lilyan escapes to the wilderness to avoid bounty hunters, will she be reunited with the one she loves?

I was truly impressed with Susan's knowledge of colonial-era history, and I feel like this book would appeal to Heartsong historical fiction lovers everywhere! I admit to being disappointed in the fact that Lilyan and Nicholas had barely had a conversation, and he was already addressing her in terms of endearment. The romance happened too quickly and appeared a bit rushed, but there is indeed such a thing as love at first sight! Nice job, Susan Craft!

This book is available in paperback through Amazon.

Thank you Diana for posting as our guest today on CQ!  Bless you!

Bio: Diana Flowers is a historical Christian reader and contributor to the blog "Overcoming Through Time."  She is a mother and grandmother and resides in South Carolina.  


  1. Thank you, Carrie, and Colonial Quills, for having me today! Susan, congrats on your new book...I hope you sell a kazillion copies!

  2. Susan Craft said…

    Thanks so much, Diana. I’m so happy you found Nicholas handsome and charming. I’m fortunate that my husband understands when I say I’m in love with Nicholas. But after 42 years of marriage, he knows what I mean.

    Wanted everyone to know that The Chamomile was selected by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as on one of their top 12 novels of the season. It’s an “Okra Pick.” I’m so excited!

  3. Thanks for the interview, Diana, and congratulations Susan!!! I love okra, especially fried okra. That is a wonderful honor to be picked!

  4. Great job on the review, Diana. Susan's book sounds like a book I'd like to read! About those colonial era romances, oftentimes they were quite short and sweet (sometimes just a matter of decision) so we won't always see a great love story playing out as we do in many historical romances. It is one of our challenges for writing colonials - to match the time with reader expectations.

  5. Thank you, Carla! I appreciate all of you talented ladies having me! I feel somewhat like a fish out of water amongst all of the great talent featured on this blog!;)

    Actually it was love at first sight for my husband with me, and that was around the colonial times (LOL!), so I hear what you are saying. He took me out ONE time, and was ready to get married. On a more serious note, I was truly amazed at Susan's knowledge of the colonial era.

  6. Thank you, Diana and I'll add my congratulations to you also, Susan. I'll look forward to reading it as I also have a manuscript underway about a Revolutionary War prisoner.

  7. Carrie, hubs LOVES fried okra as well. I use to cook it for him...now he has to get it at one of these restaurants with southern cuisine.:)

    You're quite welcome, Janet, and prayers going up for you on your MS. So glad more writers are covering the Colonial period now...seems as though it use to be much more common. Janet, I'm sure you'll glean alot from reading Susan's book...she is one smart lady!

  8. Susan Craft said...
    Thanks, Diana, for the compliment about my knowledge of the colonial times. I love doing research--it's my favorite thing combing through libraries for letters and journals. The SC Archives and History Department is a treasure trove of information, and the staff are fantastic. I get so excited when they bring me a box of letters and I have to put on the white gloves and I get to touch the real letters and not just copies. It sends chills down my spine. (I know, I'm a nerd!) And when I find something really interesting, I call it "my treasure" and try to find a way to weave it into my novel. I have run across lots of accounts of the heroism of the backcountry South Carolina women. It's absolutely incredible what many of them went through when their husbands went off to war. I can't wait to write about them.

  9. Susan, From the cover to the title to the synopsis, your book looks wonderful! I'm so partial to anything of this nature. Some of my favorite books involve Revolutionary War spies and such. My only lament is that there aren't enough of them! So glad you're a colonial lover:) And thanks to Diana for another great book review!

  10. Thanks, Laura,...one of my favorite ladies and authors in the whole wide world!

    Susan, that would be my drawback (one of them), in writing a historical fiction book. I do not think you're a nerd (as you just said, haha), but I would feel as though I were back in school having to do all that research! UGG! I would much rather read about it in one of your or Laura's fiction books.I learn alot that way. Much more enjoyable in my book...pardon the pun.:)

  11. Susan Craft said…

    Laura, thank you for the compliment about the cover. I painted the portrait of Lilyan from a picture of my daughter when she was 19. I also painted the chamomiles and drew the colonial man. The publisher liked them so much they decided to incorporate them into the design. While researching the Scots dialect, I found the picture of Charlestown Harbor on the McCord Clan website. I immediately contacted the webmaster, James McCord, who sent the word out to the McCord family (even to the Chieftain in Scotland) and we tracked it to the Library of Congress that allowed me to use the picture. I was so appreciative of the McCord’s that I named a prominent character James McCord in the sequel to The Chamomile. The name of the sequel is Laurel and will be published by Ingalls in November 2012. See how much fun research can be!!!!

  12. Susan Craft said...

    Diana, isn't it wondrous how God designed some of us to love doing the research and others to love reading about it!!

  13. Susan Craft said...

    Janet Grunst, thanks so much for your encoragement. Where is your Rev War character imprisoned?

  14. An emphatic yes to that question, Susan. LOL!

    It sounds like almost as much research went into the cover as well! I am impressed that you painted part of it...you are indeed a woman of many talents!


Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!