First, the book:
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.
Thank you so much for being with us today, Michelle! After writing medieval and Viking-age historical, contemporary, and ending up in the Regency era, what got you interested in the colonial time period?
Trappers, actually. I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota but even here there were voyageurs and trappers that roamed the area. One of my favorite things to do is go to the annual River Rendezvous, a living history reenactment of Natives and trappers and rugged colonists.
What inspired your latest colonial work?
An Anglophile at heart, usually I write stories based in England. But during the Colonial period, lots of British criminals (some truly guilty, others innocent) were transported to America as punishment. Others crossed the ocean as indentured servants, signing away their freedom when they landed in the hopes of creating a better life. I got to wondering what it would be like to have your freedom taken away, and so The Captive Heart was born.
Do you have a favorite colonial place you like to visit and why?
I love the South Carolina backcountry. Stunning scenery. Awesome hiking. And loads of history. It’s hard to choose just one place when there are so many, but I’m going to go with Brattonsville, a living history museum in York County. Besides the setting, I love the historical guides that are stationed at each building. You could seriously spend days here, learning everything from blacksmithing to open fire cooking.
If you care to say, you can tell readers where you live and what colonial places you have in your state or your home state if different.
It’s a little later than the Colonial period, but the North West Company Fur Post (circa 1804) is a fun place to visit. You’ll met French voyageurs, British fur traders and visit an Ojibwe encampment. It’s located just outside of Pine City, Minnesota (about an hour north of Minneapolis/St. Paul).
Do you have a favorite colonial recipe you enjoy and would like to share with readers?
Pare some apples and cut them in thin slices, put them in a bowl, with a glass of brandy, some white wine, and quarter of a pound of powdered sugar, a little cinnamon finely powdered and the rind of a lemon grated: let them stand some time, turning them over frequently; beat two eggs very light, add one quarter a pound of flour, a tablespoonful of melted butter, and as much cold water as will make a thin batter; drip the apples on a sieve, mix them with the batter, take one slice with a spoonful of butter to each fritter, fry them quick, of a light brown, drain them well, put them in a dish, sprinkling sugar over each, and glaze them nicely.
About Michelle: I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write--except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.
Michelle's impressive list of titles includes medieval and Viking-age time travel, gothic Regency, and even contemporary. Check her out at michellegriep.com!