Fifty Years Ago Today: Robert F. Kennedy

I originally ran this post back in 2013, but it seemed appropriate to rerun it today. I hope you’ll indulge me . . .


If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know there are a few things I’m passionate about:

  1. Writing
  2. Reading
  3. Myth and urban legends
  4. The fictional characters of Aloyisius Pendergast and Gerald Tarrant
  5. Robert F. Kennedy

It’s the last of these I want to reference today.

There is some small part of me that remembers seeing a newsreel of Sirhan Sirhan shoot Bobby Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968. Has it really been fifty years since that fateful day?

I was much too young to understand what had taken place, but there is a strange clip of the event in my head, as if captured on an old grainy black and white TV.

I wasn’t a child of the 60s. I didn’t understand the upheaval taking place in the nation at the time, or even the enormity of the tragedy coming only two months after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and almost five years after the murder of JFK. I can’t imagine the sadness, the depth of senseless loss our nation must have felt.

Robert Kennedy with megaphone, addressing a crowd of supporters

Photo By Leffler, Warren K. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are those who say Bobby Kennedy would have taken the White House had he lived. Certainly, he had the momentum to carry him after winning the California primary. It was after giving his victory speech following the primary that his life came to a tragic end. Fifty years ago today he made the fatal mistake of detouring through the hotel kitchen when leaving the ballroom. Sirhan Sirhan stepped into the crowd of bodyguards, FBI, well-wishers and campaign aides and opened fire with a 22-caliber revolver, hitting the Senator three times. He was forty-two years old.

I never gave Robert Kennedy much thought until after seeing a movie about him in 2002 called RFK. I’m not even sure what made me watch it as I normally don’t care for biographies or movies with a political slant. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to learn more about the man. Maybe it was the performance of the actor – certainly that played a part – but I found my heart engaged by the conflict and crushing weight RFK carried, especially after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. This wasn’t just a president who’d been assassinated, but his brother, his closest family member, staunchest ally and loyal friend.

Robert Kennedy at desk in thoughtful pose

By LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve since watched multiple biographies, movies, and even a miniseries or two on RFK.  I’ve lost track of the number of books I’ve read from full-blown biographies, to conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassinations to RFK’s campaign trail in 1968.

Why the interest? I know the Kennedys were hardly saints, but I admire Bobby Kennedy’s loyalty (especially to his brother, Jack), his heartfelt desire to bring the nation together during a time when it was torn apart, and his staunch devotion to the underprivileged. Even his ruthlessness in going after organized crime figures of the day (during his tenure as Attorney General of the U.S.). He was passionate in his beliefs and relentless in pursuing them.

Which is why he made enemies. Many enemies. Including Fidel Castro, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa and, if stories are true, then president Lyndon B. Johnson.

This from the man who was once viewed as a timid child by his father.

It’s with sadness and admiration that I remember Robert F. Kennedy today. I can’t help wondering what direction our country might have taken had Bobby Kennedy won the presidency in 1968. Clearly, that achievement was not meant to be. He will be forever remembered as a passionate man who died much too young and far too soon.

Rest in peace, Bobby.

#FridayBookShare @ShelleyWilson72 – The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Welcome to another Friday Book Share! Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)

early morning beach scene with sun breaking through the clouds over oceanFirst line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favorite line/scene.

~ooOOoo~

I haven’t done as much reading as I’d like lately because I was involved in meeting a deadline on book 3 of my Point Pleasant/Mothman series. Now with that finally behind me (Snoopy dance) I’m diving back into my regular reading. THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT is a book I read while working on my deadline. As a result, it took me a few weeks to finish but honestly, this book was soooo good, I normally would have devoured it in a week or less. Who would have thought the “current war” between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse could make for riveting, pulse-pounding reading? I’m ashamed to say that until I read this novel, I never realized General Electric was originally Edison General Electric, the company founded by Thomas Edison. Doh!

First Line of Book:

On the day that he would first meet Thomas Edison, Paul watched a man burn alive in the sky above Broadway.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A thrilling novel based on actual events, about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America—from the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and author of The Sherlockian

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EDDIE REDMAYNE

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society—the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal—private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.

Introduce the main character using only three words:

Paul Cravath—young, driven, confused

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book):

Book cover for the novel The Last Days of Night shows a street with gas lamp in foreground

 

Audience appeal. Who would enjoy reading this book?

Readers of historical fiction, particularly as related to the late 1800s.

A favorite line/scene:

Paul mediated the wars of men who devoted their lives to creating things from thin air. But such different things! Westinghouse created objects. Tesla created ideas. While Edison, a few miles away, was busy creating an empire.

Amazon Purchase Link

Do you enjoy historical fiction? Does this book sound like something that would appeal to you?

Mythical Monday: Visiting a Haunted Hotel by Mae Clair

One of the ponds in the TNT Area of West Virginia

One of the ponds in the TNT Area of West Virginia

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I recently took a trip to Point Pleasant, West Virginia in order to continue researching my Mothman series of novels. This time, I was able to garner a much better understanding of how the “TNT AREA” is laid out, and visited a few specific locations I wanted to see. Originally used to store munitions in World War II, the TNT is now a wildlife management area that encompasses over 3600 acres. Riddled among dense woodlands, overgrown trails and algae-covered ponds is a network of concrete “igloos” where ammunition was once stored. These are built into hillsides, and covered by trees and grass, making them invisible when viewed from the air.

There are several roads connected to the TNT that I really didn’t have a feel for, including one where cars have been known to shut down or stall for no reason. After visiting, I now understand how they intersect, and was even able to snap a photo of a map for the TNT at the Mothman Museum (yes, there is one). The museum has recently moved to a new building, and it’s far nicer than before. Hubby and I chatted with the guy who runs it for a while, and I was able to pick up some good info and another map.

Metal fencing in front of the site of the old North Power Plant in the TNT area, West Virginia

Site of the old north power plant in the TNT

I also wanted to see the ruins of the North Power Plant along Fairgrounds Road. This is the location where the Mothman was first sighted in 1966. The power plant is gone but I was able to snap of photo of the ruins and location where it stood.

So what does any of this have to do with staying at a haunted hotel?

During my last trip to Point Pleasant, my husband and I stayed across the river in Gallipolis, Ohio. This time we stayed in downtown Point Pleasant in the Historic Lowe Hotel. This is a very old four-story behemoth built in 1904. As I have an old hotel in my novels, I wanted to get a feel for this one.

The owners were super friendly and the location put almost everything I wanted to do within walking distance (except the TNT). I can’t begin to relay the scope of this place—it was mammoth. With its long halls, old stairways, elaborate moldings and woodwork, there were times I felt like I stepped into the Overlook hotel in The Shining. Everything was furnished with antiques, and I do mean antiques—as if nothing had ever been changed. I opened the top drawer on the dresser and discovered an old songbook from the 1940s, the pages yellowed and tattered, inside. The sink in the bathroom had separate faucets for hot and cold water. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a sink like that. The second floor landing had a huge parlor with a piano, parlor benches and chairs, this even before we ventured down the hallway to our room.

So where does the ghost fit in? When I inquired why the hotel was billed as haunted (something I didn’t realize until our last night there), our host told us that a phantom had been seen occasionally on the third floor. Nothing much appeared to be known about this ghost but there was a picture someone had snapped hanging in the second floor hallway. Our host told us the spirit was visible in the photo so my husband and I checked it out. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but have to admit, the image of someone is definitely visible in the bottom right hand corner. I tried to grab a shot of it with my phone. Are you able to see the ghost?

Framed photo of ghost rumored to haunt the Lowe Hotel in West Virginia, apparition visible on right

Framed photo of ghost rumored to haunt the Lowe Hotel in West Virginia, apparition visible on right

We left the next morning without having encountered any spirits or experiencing anything that went bump-in-the-night (er, not that I would want to). No Mothman, no UFOs, no men-in-black. But I did meet some great people and came away with additional research notes on an interesting, historic town.

Mythical Monday: The Traditions of Saint Lucia’s Day

It’s December 1st, and the month of Christmas is upon us! I get seriously jazzed at this time of year. Between the feeling of goodwill that seems to pervade everything, the festivities of the coming holidays, sharing with family, remembering old traditions, and soaking up the holiness of this beautiful month, it’s hard to remain low-key.

Today, for Mythical Monday, I’m focusing on an old holiday, Saint Lucia’s Day, the Festival of Lights which is celebrated in Sweden, Norway, and Swedish-speaking parts of Finland. Commemorated on December 13th, it is the date which marked the winter solstice in early calendars.  When the solstice moved to the 21st, the date remained as the beginning of Christmas in Sweden and Norway.

Photo courtesy N_Creatures (L1140287) [CC-BY-2.0 creative commons license], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy N_Creatures (L1140287) [CC-BY-2.0 creative commons license], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s rumored that on the eve of the day, the lucky might glimpse Lucia herself, skimming across winter-white snowfields and frozen lakes, a crown of light on her flowing hair. In many towns, torchlight processions were held to summon and rekindle the luminance that had faded with the encroaching winter.

Rising early, young maidens adorned in white robes with wreaths of holly and candles upon their heads would take food to their sleeping elders.

Of Sicilian origin, it is believed St. Lucia met a fiery death in A.D. 310 when she refused to recant her Christianity. According to legend, she encountered an angel when visiting the shrine of Saint Agnes while seeking a cure for her mother’s long-term illness. Moved by the experience, she became a devout Christian, refusing to denounce her beliefs even in the face of Roman prosecution. Burned at the stake, she continued to speak her beliefs as the fire consumed her. One soldier stuck a spear through her throat to silence her, but the grisly injury had no effect. She died only when given the Christian sacrament.

In Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, a girl is elected to portray St. Lucia on her feast day of December 13th. Dressed in white with a red sash (the sign of martyrdom), she leads a procession of other women, a crown of candles on her head. These symbolize the fire that refused to consume St. Lucia at the stake.

It is believed that celebrating St. Lucia’s Day will help one live with plenty of light through the long winter ahead.

Mae Clair’s Book Spotlight: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

One of the earliest author friends I connected with when originally venturing online was Christina McKnight. Naturally, when I heard she had a new release out, I jumped at the chance to showcase it here.

Book cover for Shunned No More by author Christina McKnight depicting a Regency-era woman in a flowing lavender gown looking over her shoulder

Series: A Lady Forsaken, Book 1
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Word Count: 78,000
Cover Artist: LFD Designs for Authors

A Lady Shunned by All… 

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One… 

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Christina McKnight, authorAbout the Author:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Shunned No More to your Goodreads List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099744-shunned-no-more-a-lady-forsaken

Welcome Elise Cyr with Siege of the Heart

Lately, I’ve had a taste for historical novels, so I’m super excited to have Kensington Book author Elise Cyr on my blog today, with her new release, SIEGE OF THE HEART. 

Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.

Good for you! As writers we encounter many obstacles along the way. I’m glad you found the dedication to stick with something you love. Now for a technique question: which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?

Dialogue. When I read novels, I tend to skip over long passages of description to get to the action sooner, and I do that when I’m writing too. I also took a screenwriting class in college, and that format requires you to leave the visuals up to the director, so your real focus is primarily the dialogue. That experience really helped me learn that aspect of the craft. I also tend to underwrite, so in subsequent passes, I’m usually expanding my description and adding character blocking to round out the story.

I really enjoy writing dialogue, but description has always been my first love. When I do rewrites, I’m normally reworking my dialogue, LOL. And now, I’d love to hear more about SIEGE OF THE HEART.

It’s a medieval romance from Kensington Books, set during the Norman Conquest of England, with a knight seeking his place in the world and a noblewoman struggling to hold on to all she holds dear. It’s the first novel I ever got to “The End” on. It has taught me so much about writing and myself, and I’m so glad to share it with the world.

siegeoftheheart_Final

You must have a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the research that must have gone into the book. Please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.

“They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.”

Ooh, great choice! It says a lot about her character in so few words–and his.
When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I play shoot-em-up video games. It’s a great stress reliever and gives my brain a break after a day full of writing. I also try to stay active. My husband and I ride bikes or go hiking on the weekend, and every day, I walk my dog in the foothills.

Speaking of pets, furred friends and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. Tell us about yours.

My dog Sienna is an adorable border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She doesn’t let me sleep in, which is great for my writing schedule, and usually hangs out by my feet when I’m typing away in the office. She’s very affectionate, so she’s always ready for a tummy rub when I get up to take a break.

She sounds adorable. And tummy rubs are a perfect break during any author’s schedule. 🙂  Now for a few personal likes and dislikes. What’s your favorite season?

Summer. I’m happiest when I can wear sandals.

Favorite color: I’ve never found a shade of blue I didn’t like.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I’m the girl who hates getting dressed up.

Mountains or beach: Since I live in the mountain foothills these days, I’d have to say beach.

Fruit or veggies: Veggies. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love them. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are my favorite.

OMG, they’re my favorite too! I rarely meet anyone who likes one of them, let alone both. I’m not a vegetarian either, but like you, I love veggies. I was one of those weird kids whose parents never had to say “eat your vegetables.” Now when it came to beef, that’s an entirely different story 😀

Elise, it’s been a delight to have you here today and I wish you much success with SIEGE OF THE HEART.

file0001492858701 (2)AUTHOR BIO
I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.

(Image courtesy of Clarita of Morgue File)

About Siege of the Heart:

He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

SIEGE OF THE HEART IS AVAILABLE FROM:
Amazon 

Barnes and Noble 
Kensington Books 

North Parish Book Tour with Rohn Federbush #Giveaway

Today, as a Buy the Book Tour participating host, I’m welcoming Rohn Federbush as she tours with her new release, North Parish. I was initially drawn to this book by it’s gorgeous cover and title, then after reading the blurb, knew I had to showcase it. Please welcome Rohn as she shares her background, writing process, and what inspires her creativity. There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway link at the bottom, so be sure to enter!

Tour banner for North Parish by Rohn Federbush~ooOOoo~

I lived on farms in Illinois until I was fourteen. Those wind-swept plains can’t compare to the storm-free, surrounding hills of my adopted state of Michigan. I’m dyslectic and uncomfortable in crowds. I’m happier in my old-age than I ever was in the riotous, experimental years of youth. Who hasn’t wanted to know everything about everything?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. My sister’s baby died after not completing a day of life. Her name was Diane Thaddeus Schultz. I was shocked because my high-school English class remained unaware of my family’s loss, or the world’s. So I wrote a poem and eulogized my niece, hooking me forever on the potency of catharsis and the power of adding to the remembrance of a lost child. What gave you your first clue that you were one of us, unable to stop putting words on paper?

How long does it take you to read a book? My first writing draft is finished in about three months, but the editing takes even longer. I’m usually at my writing desk by 9:00 in the morning. I outline. I use Elizabeth’s system from “Write Right” and Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure,” which is a furtherance of Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” structure for characters. I put the finished outline, which includes one-sentence scene descriptions into the body of my manuscript and start writing the Rough Draft. Nothing is ever final, the outline, the sequence of scenes, etc. But the skeleton exists. The next day’s scene can be reviewed before bed and embellished in the morning. If I get stopped, I interview the characters to find out where we’re going.

I’ve been writing full time since 1999, when I retired from the University of Michigan as an Administrative Assistant. Of course, I take breaks, and lunch. However, I try not to stop until I have ten new pages or 4:00 arrives. My completed books are piling up, but I am still happiest and better balanced when new work is created. It is tempting to market full time, but the writer work-ethic in me rebels.

My ideas for books follow my curiosity. How does it feel to be this character or that one? Could I live in this place or that climate? What if I had lived in those times, in that war, or among those gardens? What if my goal had been to be a race-car driver, or a ghost-hunter, or a forest ranger? While I yet live, the wonder of life keeps me intrigued.

When I’m not writing, I paint cartoonish pictures in oil and even watercolors. I love the control over colors. I paint in primary colors, heavy on the brush. After fifteen years of steady fictional work output, my family has pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that I’ll be writing on my death bed. One sister-in-law thought I might have missed a career as a painter, but she received one of my better oils.

I’ve completed 15 novels. The three historicals about Michigan and Ann Arbor history are my favorites. But the one I’m working on, editing or writing new scenes, always claims my heart. When an idea presents itself for a story, the title usually comes first and then the resolution. I think we all write with a purpose. Sure to entertain is required, but to last in the world of more books than people, the need to share an understanding of how life works and my belief in a Higher Power, Our Father’s presence in our lives motivates me.

Hiring my GirlFriday, Florence Price, has saved me from frustrating chores I don’t have the patience to learn. Such as my website design, promotion ideas and an increasing number of tasks I ask her to undertake.

I like being married better than living alone. Of course, I am married to the best man in the universe. I’m also thankful for moderate good health in old age. My grandchildren are perfect and my children claim every ounce of affection I own. Isn’t this  every woman’s dream?

Have you read any of my books on Amazon, yet? I’m on Linkedin and have two               Facebook pages. Feel free to contact me at rohn@comcast.net. My website is             www.rohnfederbush.com

NORTH PARISH BLURB

An Ann Arborite, Professor Silas Douglas, became the first president of Michigan’s Historical Society. He was a teenager who witnessed the 1818 Maumee River treaty signing by seven tribes for President Monroe’s Erie Canal. The names of the tribes and the individual natives have been preserved in the Ann Arbor Public Library.

North Parish follows the diplomats around the Great Lakes.

* * * * *

Book cover for North Parish by Rohn FederbushParish North is the blonde adopted son of a Huron native, and with his manhood-quest completed in time for his father’s trip with a Jesuit bishop, he’s allowed to participate in the efforts to secure powwow agreements from seven tribes around the Great Lakes for the building of the Erie Canal. During the trip, Parish recognizes his vision temptress in Dorothy Evans.

Hoping to join the delegation, Dorothy Evans dreams of escaping duties as her mother’s cook-helper at Fort Detroit. Exciting windows to the wider world open for the girl in the Fort’s Jesuit library. Two centuries worth of European books convince her everything good and pure comes from nature. And when Dorothy meets the blond native, Parish North, she feels her heart quicken when he smiles in her direction. She’s positive Parish is half of her future.

When a bishop assigned to the trip persuades Dorothy’s mother to allow him to chaperon her intelligent daughter on the trip to facilitate her education, Dorothy’s mother accepts his kind offer with the comforting knowledge that Dorothy is under the protection of a man of the Church. But the Bishop’s intentions may not be as pure as they appear and Dorothy’s virtue is in danger. Will the Bishop’s unholy plan succeed?

EXCERPT:
Fort Detroit, Fall, 1817

Cheers from the fort’s crowd drew sixteen-year-old Dorothy Evans to the river’s shore. Two high-ended Algonquin canoes from Lake Erie and a smaller French trapper’s canoe advanced toward them on the Detroit River. With each new shout, more yellow aspen leaves tumbled to the ground, crushed under the feet of soldiers and civilians rushing along the riverbank. The sober clothing of the throng clashed with the riotous colors of the maple trees.

A Chippewa runner had arrived the night before to warn, or rather to assemble the fort’s population for Bishop Pascal’s arrival. Father Sebastian, the Jesuit pastor, rose on his tiptoes to peer down river. Dorothy and her mother stood on either side of the nervous priest. Elizabeth’s short, plump figure advertised her success as the rectory’s cook. Dorothy considered herself a competent but reluctant cook’s helper.

Preparations for meals left little time to think, to read, to dream. She hurried through her daily chores to escape into the priest’s extensive library. For more than a hundred years, the Jesuits at Fort Detroit had collected Europe’s finest literature. The tomes whetted her appetite for adventure and romance.

As Dorothy waited for the Bishop, histories of Florence, its free thinkers, faces of popes and red-garbed cardinals swam in her head. The band of young and seasoned soldiers from the fort held no interest. They smelled, and treated her as the stuck-up cook’s daughter. She was only someone to hand out an extra cookie or two when their buddies weren’t around to tease. But in her secret heart, Dorothy was a mysterious spy, an adventurous temptress, a princess waiting to be rescued.

No hint of cardinal reds were in the approaching crafts, only more drab brown and black clothing. Dorothy sighed, breathed in the cool, tannic-scented air and prayed for patience as the ceremonies began. Her chores awaited and her fingers itched to re-open the Italian history she had set aside.

After the first boat emptied its passengers, a sergeant among the troops yelled, “Attention!”

The thirty or so men lined up, tucked in their shirts and squared their shoulders. The newly arrived, tall, mustached officer with soft gray eyes under menacing bushy eyebrows introduced himself to the sloppy, disgraceful bunch. “Lieutenant C. Louis Cass.” He returned their salute and marched past them taking time to point out an unbuttoned tunic, dusty boots, or straighten a jauntily placed cap. “Where is your commanding officer?”

“Abed.” A young private in the rear yelled without fear of detection.

“This way,” Father Sebastian motioned for the Bishop to follow the troops on the half-mile trek back to the fort.

Dorothy’s mother gestured for her to follow, but Dorothy shook her head. Elizabeth delayed and tidied her hair until Dorothy relented and drew closer for what she thought would be a reprimand. Her mother merely whispered. “They’re going to take more land from the natives. Mark my word.”

“Not again. Where will they let them farm now? Is that why the Bishop came?”

“Father says the seven tribes around the Great Lakes will be affected.” Elizabeth tucked a loose black strand of hair behind Dorothy’s ear. “I guess the Bishop thinks a missionary is needed to persuade the tribes to attend the new treaty powwow.”

Dorothy shook her head. “What chance do the natives have to survive, if they disagree?”

“Hurry back to help me.” Her mother scurried away to catch up to Father Sebastian.

Dorothy wandered closer to the river. Dark clouds threatened to stop the sunshine’s play with the sparkling waves. The second smaller canoe purposefully tread water in order not to be drawn ashore. Dorothy examined its crew. A tall, straight-backed Huron sat in the front of the boat. Behind him a younger native caught her eye. The shifting sunbeams highlighted the man’s blond hair. His face seemed lit from within.

His eyes dreamily swept the shoreline past her, then sharply returned as if he had been startled into remembering something. Something important.

Me, Dorothy thought. He’s looking at me. For a moment her breath seemed to stop.

She couldn’t help rushing forward to mingle among the native men helping the two pull the boat onto the sandy shore. The natives nearly bowed before the tall Huron. He spoke kindly to each. Did he personally know their families? Then he introduced the younger man to them, “My favored son.” The older man inclined his head proudly in the direction of the blond young man, whose ethereal bearing evoked the capability of walking on water.

Noticing Dorothy among the group, the older man said, “They call me Ponthe Walker.”

Dorothy nodded but could not keep her face turned away from the infinitely more interesting younger man.

“And my adopted son, Perish North.”

“I’m…I’m,” Dorothy was sure she’d never remember her own name. “Dorothy Evans. My mother is Elizabeth, the rectory cook.”

Perish stepped forward. “A pious believer then?”

Dorothy gained full use of her tongue. “More of a favorite doubter of the Lord’s. Like Saint Thomas? You know the one who had to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would believe in the resurrection?”

Ponthe seemed to lose interest, but Perish didn’t move.

“I’ve just returned from my vision quest,” he said.

Dorothy believed he grew an inch before her eyes. She slipped a glance down to his boots to see if he’d stretched up on his toes. As she brought her gaze up, she noted his waist adornments, his broad shoulders covered in buckskin. His light blue eyes seemed bleached by the sun, or his vision.

“The manhood rite,” she said, trying not to check. A stiff breeze lifted her hair, cooling the nervous sweat on her brow.

“You’ve heard of the Midewiwins?” Perish took a step closer.

Dorothy could smell a scent of juniper. “I have, but aren’t you too young?”

Perish laughed.

A thrill passed through her at the clear, rich tones of his voice.

When his father began to lead the natives back to the Fort Detroit, Dorothy boldly pulled at Perish’s elbow. “Walk with me.”

Perish slowed to stroll beside her.

Dorothy smiled as winningly as she knew how. “Tell me.”

“I can only share Orenda’s vision message with family.” His face was serious but his eyes were friendly.

“Adopt me,” Dorothy said, then raced ahead of the group. Aware of her silliness, she knew her mother would be needing help.

*

Author, Rohn FederbushABOUT ROHN FEDERBUSH
Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981. Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

Connect with Rohn Federbush at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ 

PURCHASE NORTH PARISH FROM:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Cover Reveal: Spirit of the Revoluiton by Debbie Peterson

If you have a fondness for paranormal romances, ghosts and/or history, you have to check out this book! I’m highly delighted to splash my friend, Debbie Peterson’s, latest release all over my blog 😀

Title: SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION
Author: Debbie Peterson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: May 31, 2013

SpiritOfTheRevolution_w5861_680BLURB
Only divine intervention could have guided Jolena Leigh Michaelsson to the doorstep of a ramshackle manor in Pennsylvania, bringing her face-to-face with the man she has waited her whole life to find. There is just one problem. Mathias McGregor died two centuries ago…

Mathias, Revolutionary War ranger and spy, battles his conscience and his heart when he finds himself falling for the beautiful violinist invading his home. Jolena is mortal and deserves far more than what he as a spirit can offer her.

When Jolena’s family motto leads them to unearth a valuable coded message—the very message Mathias died trying to deliver to General Washington—Jolena vows to unravel the mystery surrounding the cryptic document. But someone else wants the message, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it, not even murder.

Divine intervention brought them together—will it also allow them to find forever?

~ooOOoo~

The Wild Rose Press has announced a limited time early release of SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION on Kindle Select. If you have a Kindle, there’s no need to wait until May 31st to enjoy the story of Mathias and Jolena. You can purchase your copy today on Amazon!

photoDPAUTHOR BIO
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” will be released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION during it’s limited early release on Amazon

Add SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION to your Goodreads TBR list

Rosanne Bittner: RIDE THE FREE WIND Book Tour

A Vector Comic Book Explosion Background with StarsToday, I’m pleased to showcase another book by Rosanne Bittner who is touring with her historical western romance novel, RIDE THE FREE WIND. A short while ago, I had the pleasure of featuring book 1 of the Savage Destiny Series, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION. Rosanne continues the story of Zeke and Abbie in RIDE THE FREE WIND.

BLURB:
Book 2 of the Savage Destiny Series

Abigail Trent Monroe abandons the only life she’s ever known to live among the Cheyenne with her half-breed husband, Zeke. Together they face peril and enjoy a passion most never experience. Their love is so strong that no amount of danger or rugged living can come between this man and woman so devoted to one another.Against the backdrop of a magnificent landscape and during a time when freedom meant everything to the Native Americans, Zeke and Abbie cling to one another for courage and strength.

EXCERPT:
Clinging to Zeke tightly, Abbie pleaded. “Don’t let go! Don’t ever let go!”

“It’s all right, Abbie-girl,” he told her quietly. ……

He gladly kept his arms around her, and she kissed his neck, breathing in the wonderful, manly scent of him, running her hands across his broad, strong shoulders. He moved his lips back to her own in one long, lingering, hungry kiss, then he swung her up into his arms. She rested her head on his shoulder and asked no questions. … It did not matter at the moment where he had been or why. All that mattered was that he was here now. …

~ooOOoo~

Buy RIDE THE FREE WIND from Amazon
This book is exclusive to Amazon

~ooOOoo~

Portrait 1AUTHOR BIO from Rosanne Bittner:
I’ve been writing for nearly thirty years and to date have had 57 novels
published, all about the American West of the 1800’s and Native Americans. I
write romance, but not the typical bodice-ripping adventures. My stories are
deep love stories, often family sagas told as a series. It is the hero and
heroine’s love that holds them together through the trials and tribulations of
settling America’s western frontiers. I absolutely love the Rockies, the Tetons,
the Sierras, and the wide-open plains, prairies and desert land west of the
Mississippi. In my books, I strive to tell the truth about the settling of the
West and how it affected our American Indians, as well as the gritty depth of
what our brave pioneers suffered in their search for free land and a better
life.

I am a member of the Nebraska and Oklahoma Historical Societies,
my local southwest Michigan historical society, Women Writing the West,
Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America (treasurer) and the national RWA, and a local charity group called the Coloma Lioness Club. I help run a family business
and love doing things with my three young grandsons. If you visit my web site at
www.rosannebittner.com, where all my titles are listed as well as a page that lists all my many writing awards; or you can visit me on Facebook. At either site you will learn news of new books to come as well as reprints of many of my past titles soon to be published in trade paperback and as e-books! I also have an author site at Amazon.com.

Look for Rosanne Bittner at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads