No one thought that the Second Street boarding house would be destroyed by arsonists. No one wanted to believe that Nate Johnson would be beaten simply because of his race. But things have gotten ugly in Blaineton, New Jersey. It is in the middle of the Civil War and the abolitionist sympathies of the people in Maggie Blaine Smith’s boarding house have made them a target for racist and Copperhead forces. When the violence threatens to get worse, Maggie’s husband Eli has a proposal for them: his two sisters need help aiding fugitive slaves evade the Confederate Army and find freedom in the north. However, first they must relocate to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Maggie and her family risk the move, hoping that they will find some badly-needed peace there. But can that happen when newspaperman Eli and reporter/photographer Chester Carson are off covering the war? Can they find peace when Maggie’s son-in-law Edgar and her other daughter’s beau, Patrick, are still in the army? How can Maggie and the remaining members of her family start anew in a strange place? And how will all of them hold on to their courage, strength, and faith as the war rages and Confederate and Union forces march into Pennsylvania?
Targeted Age Group:
I find that I spend a great deal of time making sure historical details and events are correct. Everything from language, to daily tasks, to attitudes and assumptions need to be as accurate as possible. At the same time, a writer of historical fiction also has to make the environment, story and characters accessible to a 21st-century audience. So I guess I would say the sheer amount of research involved makes my genre different from others.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Read! And write, write, write!
I was born in Albany, NY, but raised (for the most part) in Parsippany, NJ. So I’m a Jersey girl!
In addition, I am wildly over-educated. Thank God I stopped only at one Ph.D. Still, all the education as fed into my writing.
Writing is something that I have done all my life. In fact, as I child I used to have a fantasy about being a published author. It took some later-in-life nudging from my significant other, a spiritual “push,” and the emergence of indie publishing before I made that fantasy come true.What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Fans of my first book kept asking me what happened next! So I thought about it and as the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg was coming up, I decided to incorporate that as the foundation of the next novel. I was curious to see how my characters would not merely react to the war, but what they would do when actually in the midst of a battle.
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