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Writing Historical Fiction Can Take You Where You Least Expect to Be

https://www.leaderherald.com/news/local-news/2019/07/jail-n-bail-fundraiser-slated/

So…I never thought I would be locked up in the pillory when I started writing historical fiction. That’s right. The pillory. What is that?

Punishment doled out Colonial- style.

My Whispers of Liberty series

and Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond

led me here. To raise money to preserve our local historical sites. I will join the chief of police and the mayor as we are arrested in the town square until we make bail from concerned donors. Wish me luck on Saturday, July 13th. If you are free, drop by. Take a picture. Take pity…and set us free!

Sometimes a Real Life Story Goes After You…

Ward's Pond front[4208]

A few years ago, I was given a wonderful opportunity. I had a chance to have a book signing at a bed and breakfast on Ward’s Pond in Dolgeville, New York.

Ward's Pond B and B

It is a glorious old home that once belonged to Judge George Ward. As I sat in the parlor admiring the antiques and lovely furniture from a bygone era, I couldn’t help but notice the portrait of the judge hanging on the wall. He had a severe expression and I felt like he was watching me, the eyes following me everywhere I went. A book, Murder in the Adirondacks, sat on the shelf, piquing my curiosity. My hostess was only too happy to share with me the connection of the book with the imposing figure hovering behind me. Back in 1906, a young man named Chester Gillette took a young woman named Grace Brown out on Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. Only Chester came back. He would soon become the center of attention in what was the trial of the century at the time, capturing the imagination of the entire nation. As for Judge Ward, he was the prosecutor who was so convincing in pleading his case, Chester went to the electric chair.

Chester and Grace

I was fascinated by the story. It wouldn’t let me be. I started to do research. I discovered there were many books that were inspired by this true event in upstate New York, that Unsolved Mysteries had covered mysterious sightings of a ghostly woman on Big Moose Lake, and the tragic tale inspired A Place in the Sun , a movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. I watched it and saw a different spin on what happened between Chester and Grace that fateful night.

A story began brewing in my mind…and Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond was born, bringing a journalist named Charlie Baxter to Ward’s Pond as he delves into the Gillette-Brown case once again, over a century later, hoping to remove the stain of a murderer from his family’s name. He cannot shake the shadow of Gillette weighing on him. A woman named Katherine Grace Brown is a guest in the bed and breakfast as well, tormented by nightmares of a woman drowning in a lake at night. A woman she has never seen before. She and Charlie will come together in search of answers, both haunted during their stay in the stately old home.

The novel takes some new twists and turns from the various fictional and historical accounts about the death of a young couple–one by drowning, one by execution. It makes you think about the phrase, “There are always two sides to a coin.” Is my version the truth…or are the others? Only two people know…

but Chester and Grace aren’t talking from beyond the grave. You be the judge.

If you are in Johnstown, New York, on July 6th, I would love to chat about it at my book signing at Mysteries on Main Street from 1 to 3 PM. Drop in!

Because You Have To Follow Your Heart!

Sometimes this writing thing drives me crazy, drives everyone crazy, because it has taken over my life. Having a dream is hard because it won’t leave me alone. Won’t let me stop thinking about it, going after it. My life was so much easier when I didn’t have all these characters and stories demanding to be told.

So, I have come to accept I have to tell the stories. No matter who reads them, what happens, or where they take me. They are a part of me, my heart and soul, and have brought so many gifts into my life.

Follow your heart and dreams. The journey will take you somewhere…even if it is only to know yourself better. It will be worth all the ups and downs.

I promise.

Sometimes Heroes Come in Small Packages

Sawyer Mountain cover

Every time I write a new book, I fall in love. The story, the place, and the characters wrap themselves around my heart. They’re so real that I carry them with me everywhere I go. They are like family or old friends, welcoming me home.

I have a special place in my heart for my Lost in the Adirondacks series, the series that truly set me on the path to becoming an established author. Conservation officer Graham Scott took over my life on his quest to find Sarah Waters in Adirondack Sundown. He kept me coming back for more in the next three novels. Graham and my leading men, police officer Jim Pedersen and survivalist Kane Johnson, are back again in the fifth installment in the series, Nightmare on Sawyer Mountain.  They rise to the challenge and don’t disappoint, but I have a new favorite.

Shepherd Jude Kendrick.

He’s only nine years old. He might only be a kid, but he has had to grow up fast, taking his name seriously. He’s been his twin’s protector from the moment she was born a few minutes after him. When Sawyer Willow becomes devastatingly ill, Shep will take on a life and death battle to save her. He’ll give everything he has to help her, like St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases, shouting at Death, “Not today. She’s mine.”

Doing his best to live Paul Coelho’s wise words:

“Faith as tiny as a grain of sand allows us to move mountains.”

I hope you will fall in love with my new hero too. You can meet him now  and join him on his perilous journey whether you like to read on kindle or  want to get lost in paperback.

Sometimes Family Ties Come from the Heart…Instead of Blood

 

Sixteen-year-old Maxine Marmarino is stronger than she looks. She’s grown up Italian to the core in the Big Apple, just her and Dad against the world. He’s been her champion and that’s  enough for her—until he dies. Max is cast adrift in the Social Services network of New York City with nothing to her name except what she can fit in a backpack. When she’s shipped upstate, armed with her father’s leather jacket, his army shirt, and an attitude that is much bigger than her, she’ll feel as small as a mouse. Forced to leave everything she’s ever known behind, Max doesn’t know if she can cut it in this strange place with a man she’s never met.

 

Clay Thatcher is titanium tough. It’s been his best friend since he lost his leg in Operation Desert Storm. Life has forced him to be strong, but he’s still not sure he’s strong enough to go on after losing the love of his life. He has no clue what to do with a teenager. His best friend, Ray Marmarino, saved his butt on the other side of the world over twenty years ago. The least he can do is return the favor for his daughter. Clay has a feeling it’s going to be the hardest thing he’s ever done.

 

When the City Mouse is forced to become the Country Mouse with no turning back, Max and Clay will learn a valuable lesson. They might not be able to fix the shattered pieces of their past, but maybe they can build a new beginning.

 

These characters had me from the start. They just wouldn’t leave me alone until I got their story right so I could share it with you. It’s about opening hearts and building bridges between an unlikely pair. They’ve both been beat up by life and are afraid to open their hearts…but prove love can mend fences every time.

 

I hope you’ll fall in love with Max and Clay. You can find Mouse in print and on the kindle. It’s at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and your bookstore can order it too when you want to support your local business!