Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview on Novel Pastimes Today!

I have an interview up on the Novel Pastimes blog today! Stop by and leave a comment, and if you include the answer to my challenge question, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win Daughter of Liberty and Native Son, books 1 and 2 of my American Patriot Series, in the new Heritage Edition. And you'll also get book 3, Wind of the Spirit, in the original edition. The offer is only on this week, so be sure to check it out head over and leave your comment.

Special bonus for you adventurous souls who would like to win the books but don’t know the answer to my challenge question: Since you were persistent enough to do some checking around and ended up here, I’m offering a hint to the answer: Who was the commander of the British forces in Boston in 1775, and what was the name of his wife?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fallen Heroes

The fall of heroes who turn out to be flawed gods is always especially painful. So it is in the case of Benedict Arnold. Probably everyone who reads this blog knows who Arnold was. But because the depth of his eventual betrayal was so great, many of you may not realize how major a role he played on the American side and how greatly he contributed to the Revolution’s success.

Arnold was a natural leader, though, as too often happens, he became a victim of his own hubris. Utterly fearless in battle, he was also completely insensitive to others’ feelings. An easily wounded pride coupled with self-doubt and a hunger for the fame, social acceptance, money, and rank that kept eluding him made it impossible for him to accept opposition or criticism. Yet despite these faults, the privotal battle of Saratoga would not have been won had it not been for his heroism and that of the soldiers who responded to his leadership on that crucial day.

In his brilliant work, Saratoga, Richard Ketchum says it very well.

“Benedict Arnold had many faults, as the future was to make even more clear, yet it is not too much to say that this climactic battle was won in part because of his extraordinary bravery, magnetism, and energy. Somehow he managed to be everywhere when needed, flourishing his sword, leading men by example, and while the odds were against Burgoyne’s force from the outset because he was so badly outnumbered, the victory clearly belonged to Arnold, to Morgan and Dearborn, and the New Hampshire Continentals, to those hardy survivors of Ticonderoga, Hubbardton, and the long, humiliating retreat, and to the thousands of militiamen who turned out in the hour of greatest need.”
—Richard M. Ketchum, Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War, p. 404.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just got this in—finally! Ta dah! The cover for Crucible of War!

We debated on whether we ought to stick with patriotic red and blue for the background, but I decided I really want a little more variation for the series covers. Green was a popular color during the Revolution for uniforms on both sides, and I thought it would go well with this image, so we gave it a try. I think it turned out well—kudos  to our designer, Marisa! What do you think? Isn’t it pretty?

I got an email Friday from my contact at Christian Book Distributors, and they want to feature Crucible in their Fall Fiction catalog. Wooo hooo!! But this time they want not only a long and short synopsis, but also a galley or the entire manuscript. ACK!!!! I still have several chapters and 2 major battles to write, so I’m sequestered in my writer’s cave writing madly. But I’m telling myself this is a good thing because I NEED to get this puppy done if we’re going to release it in September, which is bearing down on us at warp speed.

I just love the intriguing tidbits I run across while doing research, and I found a particularly hilarious one for the Battle of Bandywine, which took place September 11, 1777. The following is from Rebels and Redcoats by George F. Scheer and Hugh F. Rankin, an invaluable resource I snagged at a library used book sale back when I was first writing Daughter of Liberty, so it may well be out of print. It includes eyewitness accounts of the major battles, and I turn to it often.

“At length, around four-thirty, the ominous growling of cannon, followed by the sharp volleying of muskets and the crack of rifles from the extreme right announced to Washington that indeed he had been outflanked and that Sullivan was in heavy action. Meanwhile, a thunderous cannonade commenced at Chad’s. Soon he began to guess that more than two brigades of the enemy were engaged with Sullivan and that he ought personally to join him. . . . To guide him on the shortest course to the point of action, he snatched up a neighboring farmer, Joseph Brown. Brown’s brief adventure at the battle was recorded by a friend:

Brown was an elderly man and extremely loath to undertake that duty. He made many excuses but the occasion was too urgent for ceremony. One of Washington’s suite dismounted from a fine charger and told Brown if he did not instantly get on his horse and conduct the General by the nearest and best route . . . he would run him through on the spot. Brown thereupon mounted and steered his course direct towards Birmingham Meeting House with all speed, the General and his attendants being close at his heels.

He said the horse leapt all the fences without difficulty and was followed in like manner by the others. The head of General Washington’s horse, he said, was constantly at the flank of the one on which he was mounted, and the General was continually repeating to him, “Push along, old man. Push along, old man.”

Can’t you just see this scene? I LOVE it!! It beautifully personalizes Washington and communicates the urgency and emotions of the moment so vividly you feel as if you’re right there. You can bet this account is going to show up in Crucible. LOL!