Two on my historical romances available dirt cheap in e-books

Happy Monday, readers,

Quaker and the Rebel, TheAnybody who prefers reading books on their electronic devices can find two of my historical romances on sale. The Quaker and the Rebel will be $.99 for the entire month of September for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Google Play formats. And book two of the Civil War Heroines series, The Lady and the Officer, will be $1.99 from September 1-30 as well. Now’s the time to give historical romance a try if you haven’t already done so.Lady and the Officer, The

 

 

 

You prefer Amish fiction to American history? Remember, Love Comes to Paradise is still $1.99 at Amazon. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Comes-Paradise-Beginnings-Book-ebook/dp/B00B03M54U/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1441035324&sr=8-1&keywords=love+comes+to+paradiseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy these waning summer days. Fall will be here in 3 short weeks, and I am so not ready!!

Best regards, Mary

Real Life Lady Spies of the Civil War

Happy Last Day of Summer, Readers!!

Lady and the Officer, TheIn my historical romance, The Lady and the Officer, Madeline Howard had never intended to become a spy. But when military intelligence practically falls into her lap, how could she not serve her country behind enemy lines? While researching this novel, I discovered plenty of real-life spies whose lives of intrigue provided plenty of inspiration. Here are brief bios of 5 of them:

Harriet Tubman was a former slave known who led 300 people—including her elderly parents—to freedom as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She was also a Union spy. Tubman volunteered for the Union as a cook and a nurse before recruited by Union officers to establish a network of spies made up of former slaves. Tubman became the first woman in the country’s history to lead a military expedition. In June, 1863, Col. James Montgomery and Tubman led several hundred black soldiers up the Combahee River in gunboats, avoiding remotely-detonated water mines. When they reached the shore, they destroyed a Confederate supply depot and freed more than 750 slaves from rice plantations. After the war, Tubman tried to collect $1,800 for her service but was unsuccessful. Due to the service of her late husband, she did receive a widow’s pension of $8 per month beginning in June 1890 until the government authorized a payment of $25 a month beginning in January 1899. Following her death in 1913, she was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York. Born in New Orleans, Pauline Cushman was a struggling 30-year-old actress in 1863. While she was performing in Louisville, Kentucky, Confederate officers dared her to interrupt a show to toast Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy. Cushman approached the Union Army with a plan to ingratiate herself to the Confederates and become a federal intelligence courier. The Union immediately sent Cushman to federally occupied Nashville, where she gathered information about enemy operations. She was arrested by the Confederates after identifying several Confederate spies and sentenced to hang. Saved by the arrival of Union forces at Shelbyville, Cushman was forced to stop spying due to her notoriety. After the war, Cushman tried acting again and gave monologues on the war, wearing her uniform with pride. Probably the most famous Confederate spies, Belle Boyd, had been born to a prominent slaveholding family near Martinsburg, Virginia. At age 17, Belle was arrested for shooting a Union soldier who had broken into the family’s home and insulted her mother. Though Union officers cleared her of all charges, they watched her closely. Young and attractive, Boyd used her charms to gain information, which she passed along to the Confederacy. After repeated warnings to stop covert activities, Union officials sent Boyd to live with family in Front Royal, Virginia. Soon after her arrival, she began working as a courier between Confederate generals “Stonewall” Jackson and P.G.T. Beauregard. Jackson credited the intelligence Belle provided with helping him win victories in the Shenandoah Valley. In July 1862, Boyd was arrested and sent to Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. She was released a month later and deported to Richmond, but she was soon caught behind federal lines and imprisoned for three more months. In 1864 she was arrested while trying to smuggle Confederate papers to England. She fled the country and a few months later married Samuel W. Hardinge, one of the Union naval officers who had detained her. Hardinge returned briefly to the United States and was imprisoned as a suspected Southern spy. He died soon after his release. Boyd, now a widow, wrote a book and embarked on an acting career, often telling of her clandestine experiences during the war.

Rose O’Neal Greenhow was a Washington socialite when she began spying for the Confederacy. Greenhow obtained information about Union military activity and passed coded messages to the Confederates. One of her most important messages, hidden in her hair, helped Gen. Beauregard win the First Battle of Bull Run. Suspicious of Greenhow’s activities, Allan Pinkerton, head of the federal’s new Secret Service, gathered enough evidence to place her under house arrest. But Greenhow continued her espionage. In January 1862, she and her daughter were transferred to Old Capitol Prison. Several months later she was deported to Baltimore where Confederates welcomed her as a hero. President Davis sent her to Britain and France to gain support for the Confederacy. In September1864, Greenhow was returning to the South on a British blockade-runner with $2,000 in gold. With a Union gunboat in pursuit, the ship ran aground on a sandbar near the North Carolina shore, and it ran aground on a sandbar. Against the captain’s advice, Greenhow tried to escape in a rowboat with two other passengers. The boat capsized and she drowned, presumably weighed down by the gold she carried. Her body washed ashore the next day and was buried in Wilmington with full (Confederate) military honors. Born to a wealthy Virginia family, Antonia Ford was 23 when she provided military intelligence to Confederate cavalry general J.E.B. Stuart. Ford gathered information from Union soldiers occupying her hometown, which was halfway between Washington, D.C. and Manassas, Virginia. In October 1861, Stuart gave Ford an honorary written commission as aide-de-camp and ordered that she “be obeyed, respected and admired.” In March 1863, that document was used to accuse her of spying for John Singleton Mosby. Mosby’s partisan rangers had captured Union general Edwin H. Stoughton in his headquarters—one of the most famous cavalry raids of the war. The Secret Service suspected Ford was involved in planning the attack because Stoughton and Ford had spent time together. When the Secret Service sent a female operative, pretending to be a Confederate sympathizer, to meet Ford, Ford showed her Stuart’s commission. Ford was soon arrested with smuggled papers hidden in her clothing. After months at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, Ford was released thanks to the efforts of Union major Joseph C. Willard—one of her captors. Willard resigned from the Union Army, and he and Ford married in March 1864, after she took an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Thanks to the Smithsonian Magazine for providing biographical information. Have a lovely fall, readers. My-oh-my, where did the summer go?? ~ Mary

The Lady and the Officer is Fresh Fiction’s August Fresh Pick

Good morning, readers, and happy August to you all! I am tickled pink because today is the release day of The Lady and the Officer, my next installment in the Civil War Heroines Series. Lady and the Officer, The

Here’s a blurb about the story:  Love, loyalty, and espionage…how does a lady live with all three? While a nurse in Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederacy. But even though she must soon move to the South, her heart and political sympathies belong to General James Downing, a Union Army corps commander. Colonel Haywood hasn’t forgotten the beautiful nurse, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he is determined to win her. While spending time with army officers in her uncle’s palatial home, Madeline overhears plans for Confederate attacks against the Union army. She knows passing along this information may save her beloved James, but at what cost? Can she really betray the trust of her family and friends? Two men are in love with Madeline. Will her faith lead her to a bright future, or will her choices bring devastation on those she loves?

I am truly honored that Fresh Fiction chose my book to be the August Fresh Pick. The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a
purchased advertisement or promotion. I hope you’ll look for The Lady and the Officer at your local bookstore, library, or in electronic versions online.

August 1, 2014

http://www.christianbook.com/lady-the-officer-civil-war-heroines/mary-ellis/9780736950541/pd/950541?event=Fiction

 

 

 

 

Should we follow the laws and our leaders?

So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belong to you—whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. First Corinthians 3: 21-23

Offhand, I don’t recall ever reading the above passage in Scripture, but the pastor used it recently during a sermon. It’s not a passage that would stick with a person since we humans love to join different groups and affiliations. As America approaches another election year, it’s normal for people to side with the political group which best matches their personal and ethical convictions. I’m often at odds with fellow Christians because I agree with some, but not all, of a particular party’s platform. Yet this passage tells not to boast about following any particular human leader. That certainly goes against the tide, doesn’t it? We all want to strengthen the church’s influence on our beloved country, since America was founded on Christian principles. The more we remove God from the judicial and legislative branches governing our nation, the worse off our country becomes. In my opinion, God shone His grace on America when America worshiped and respected Him openly. Yet, something about politics today seems better designed to further political agendas and not God’s.

In my recent book, The Quaker and the Rebel, my underlying theme is that both sides of the horrific Civil War worshiped the same God and felt that He was on their “side.” Both my hero and heroine grew up Quaker and retained some, but not all, their doctrinal beliefs. When the war broke out, which side you were on was determined by where you were born, whether you were rich or poor and of course, black or white. Considering the atrocities committed by both armies, God wouldn’t have been pleased with either. Of course slavery needed to end, and unfortunately it took a horrific war to abolish it. So shouldn’t we follow today’s leaders who best exemplify Christian principles? After all, we still have many injustices that need to be addressed in our society. Perhaps each Christian must decide how “political” they wish to be. For myself, I’m confused and easily led astray. I need to turn to Scripture and bend my head in prayer for my answers.

Ohio’s Role in the Civil War

Quaker and the Rebel, The

Happy Wednesday Readers! Without further ado, here is the winner of Vow Unbroken, by Caryl McAddo from last week’s drawing:  Linda Dietz. Linda, please contact me privately if I don’t get ahold of you first.

While preparing to write The Quaker and the Rebel, book one of my Civil War series of romances, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Ohio’s pivotal role. Being a northern and decidedly “Yankee” state, Ohio provided a multitude of soldiers and officers to the Union Army. Several leading generals hailed from Ohio including Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman and Philip Sheridan. Five Ohio-born officers would later serve as President of the United States. As the third most populousstate, Ohio sent 320,000 volunteers to the Union ranks, behind only New York and Pennsylvania. Since only two minor battles were fought within its borders, the state was spared the destruction suffered by Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. However Morgan’s Raid in the summer of 1863 spread terror among the citizens. Morgan’s division of Confederate cavalry rode through southern and eastern counties until his capture in Columbiana County. My central character, Alexander Hunt, is a fictional composite of John Hunt Morgan and John Singleton Mosby, who wreaked havoc in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Ohio also had a crucial role in the Underground Railroad. No actual railroad existed for their path to freedom and it certainly wasn’t underground. Slaves on southern plantations passed information by mouth of mouth. Guides pointing out the way were called “conductors” and homes offering hiding places were called “stations.” Most runaway slaves traveled on foot at night, often guided north by the stars on their way to Canada. Follow the “drinking gourd” became a common refrain among escaped slaves. Approximately 40,000 runaways traveled through Ohio, assisted by Quakers and others with abolitionist views in 700 safe-houses throughout the state. Once across the river in a “free” state, slaves still faced capture by bounty hunters due to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. My Quaker heroine, Emily Harrison, continues her clandestine Underground activities while working as a governess for a wealthy planter. What joy I had doing research close to home, and how proud I am of Ohio’s role during this turbulent period of America’s past.

Have a great week, readers!