Anybody who prefers reading books on their electronic devices can find two of my historical romances on sale. The Quaker and the Rebelwill 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.
You prefer Amish fiction to American history? Remember, Love Comes to Paradise is still $1.99 at Amazon. Here’s the link:
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.
Happy Tuesday, readers, and welcome to April. Today is the release of A Plain Man, my Amish romance from Harvest House, along with the debut of Romance on the Riverfor free. That’s right, free for Kindles or other electronic device downloads. And this is not an April Fool’s joke. Romance on the Riveris a sweet little short story set in Marietta, Ohio in the early days of the Civil War…a bit of a prequel to The Quaker and the Rebel. If you’re thinking you might like to try my brand of historical fiction without going into debt, you can’t beat free.
Here’s a summary: Summer 1861—Emily Harrison is finding life a bit overwhelming. Alone on her family’s farm, she must take on the roles of both housekeeper and farmer. She cares for the garden, makes plans for planting the fields, and milks the cows, all the while creating havoc in the home her mother used to keep immaculate. That is in addition to providing a safe house as part of the Underground Railroad. In the midst of this whirlpool of swirling tasks, she is getting ready to greet very important dinner guests—the love of her life and her pastor and his wife. Will Matthew finally propose? What news does Reverend Ames bring that turns Emily’s world upside down? How does the new war between the North and South impact her life? And…will the goose be cooked in time?
Here is the link from Amazon for your free download. Remember, Romance on the Riveris available for other electronic reading devices as well.
I hope you’ll get your free copy and let me know what you think! Have a super week, readers, and don’t forget my Amish romance A Plain Manis also available today for electronic download from all outlets. ~ Mary
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.
Happy Thursday readers, a frequent question writers are asked when they’re first published: Is this the first book you ever wrote? Often on television talk shows we hear about so-and-so’s first book hitting one of the coveted bestseller lists. Although there are exceptions to the rule (J.K. Rowling comes to mind….) in most cases, the book in question is the first published work. The writer might have penned any number of novels before creating a story that resonated with an editor or agent, and then finally with readers. For me personally, I was first published in romantic suspense set in the South. Then I happily changed genres to Amish romances since I’d been fascinated with their simple lives for years. After twelve novels set in the Amish world I was ready for another change, but didn’t wish to venture too far from romance. Everyone falls in love, right? Including people in bygone eras whose lives were simpler than how we live now.
So I decided to dig out two historical romances I’d written first, a dozen years ago. “Should you do that?” asked my practical husband. “Can you go back to something you wrote before you learned all the ‘rules’ and developed your voice?” He was giving me the same look like the time I announced, “I think we should retire in Costa Rica where the cost of living is less.” I assured him that I could do this. After all, I loved those stories when I created them, even though my agent said no one was interested in Civil War fiction at the time. The Quaker and the Rebel, first in the Civil War Heroines series, was my first baby. I dusted her off and breathed in new life with better plotting, sentence structure, and inner conflicts, and reduced redundancies and unnecessary verbiage. Bottom line? The rewrite took twice as long then if I burned the manuscript and started from scratch, and required more high-test coffee than I drank in four years of college.
I know what you’re thinking: Hubby was right. But I ended up preserving every sweet nuance and historical detail that had originally intrigued me, in an easy-to-read structure and format. The best of both worlds! Would I do it again if I discovered two more novels waiting to be revived in my sock drawer? Only if I’m sitting on the beach in Costa Rica, sipping a cool drink, with plenty of time on my hands.
The second book in the series, The Lady and the Officer, releases this summer from Harvest House Publishers.