Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I started doing research on the War of 1812 and found myself completely fascinated! I had never really learned about it in school, but it turns out to be quite an exciting and important war. And Baltimore, Maryland, was right in the thick of the excitement. Surrender the Night is the 2nd book in a trilogy set in Baltimore during the War of 1812. The theme of the series revolves around the things that keep us from finding God’s destiny for our lives and how do we find that destiny. I wanted to tell the story of what happened in Baltimore toward the end of the war through the eyes of a timid farm girl who happens to be in love with a British Naval Officer. Yikes! The tale culminates in Washington, DC, when the British troops march into the city to burn it to the ground.
Sounds really interesting. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Ronie Kendig because she’s super cool. Ted Dekker because I want to find out if he’s as intense and bizarre as his books. Joel Rosenberg because of his knowledge about what’s going on in Israel and the Middle East. Brandilyn Collins because she frightens me with her stories. Camy Tang because there can’t be a party without Camy! And Tosca Lee because she writes stories that challenge my way of thinking.
And I'd want to be a fly on the wall at that party. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Julie Lessman because she’s the sweetest thing on the planet. Julie Klassen because I hope some of her talent will flow into my brain by osmosis. Mary Connealy because she makes me laugh. Francine Rivers because I want to find out her secret to success. Laurie Alice Eakes because she’s a volume of historical information and a good friend of mine, and Louise M. Gouge because she writes with such finesse and she’s a charming lady. There’s so many more too!! Wish I could invite them all!
I love all of these authors, too. We are so blessed to know them. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
I don’t think it matters how many books you have published, the pressures are the same for all writers. Being published doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get another contract. I have to submit proposals and sample chapters just like everyone else. And I get rejections just like everyone else! But I do think there’s an extra pressure on an author who has several books published. And that is to not only keep producing excellent work, but to surpass the last book you wrote. I always feel the stress to produce better and better stories, and sometimes that’s hard to do each time. I praise God for the books He’s allow me to publish. But one thing I’ve learned, the grass on the other side truly isn’t always as green as it looks!
A timid American farm girl at the mercy of the enemy. . .
A wounded British sailor driven into hiding. . .
Both are about to change the course of history forever.
When British soldiers invade Baltimore amid the War of 1812, Rose McGuire, alone on her family farm, is easy prey for a brutal lieutenant. In the midst of the attack, she’s saved by British 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Reed. Will she now have to heal, as well as hide, this enemy soldier?
Alex hadn’t meant to kill his superior, nor get shot in the process. Now badly wounded, he’s at the mercy of this tomboy who obviously hates him. Can he trust her or will she turn him over to the Americans?
Rose is having trouble keeping Alex hidden from her family, the townspeople, and the man intent on courting her. Will the discovery of Alex’s presence force her to accept an abhorrent proposal?
As their love blooms, trouble looms, for the British are on the move again. This time, their target is Washington, DC. Will these young lovers at heart find themselves enemies at war?
I love it. Please give us the first page of the book.
Baltimore, Maryland, August 3, 1814
Gong. Gong. Gong. The evening air reverberated with warning bells from St. Peter’s church. Rose McGuire halted in her trek to the pigsty and gazed across the shadowy farm. Musket fire echoed in the distance. The British were on the move again. Punctuating the unrest crackling through the air, shards of maroon and saffron shot across the western sky, bringing into focus the line of cedar and pine trees that marked the end of civilization and the beginning of the dense forest of Maryland.
Gong. Gong. Gong. The eerie chime scraped a chill down Rose’s spine.
She glanced back at the brick house in the distance. Though she had yet to spy a redcoat anywhere near her farm, she should go back inside. Swallowing her fear, she emptied the bucket of slops into the pig trough, Grunts and snorts amassed in the putrid air above the enclosure, drawing her attention to her favorite pig, who waddled toward her to receive his evening scratch. Kneeling, she reached her hand in between the fence posts. “Hi, Prinney.” His moist, stiff hair bristled against her hand as he lifted his head beneath her caress and nudged against the wooden railings, while the rest of the pigs devoured their kitchen scraps.
“You’ll miss your dinner, Prinney. Better get some before it’s gone.” Rose stood and dabbed her sleeve over the perspiration on her forehead. A light breeze, laden with the smells of hay and honeysuckle, brushed her golden curls across her face. Flicking them aside, she drew in a deep breath, hoping the familiar scents would calm her nerves.
Men and their wars. She hated the war, hated the alarms, hated the violence. But most of all she hated the fear. Two years was far too long to live in constant terror of being overrun by a ruthless enemy.
Picking up her bucket, she hastened to the barn, gazing at her tiny garden as she went. Even in the dim light, she could make out the patches of red and yellow of the nearly ripe tomatoes and the spindly silk atop ripe ears of corn. She smiled. Despite the war, life went on.
Musket shot peppered the air. Pop. Pop. Pop. Somewhere close by, soldiers were being shot at or a settler was defending his land—somewhere close by people were dying. Fear prickled her skin. Just a few more chores and she would go inside. Rose began humming a song her father taught her when she was young. She could still hear his baritone voice as he sang the words—words that always seemed to calm her.
Oh fare the well, my little turtle dove,
And fare thee well for-a-while;
But though I go I’ll surely come again,
If I go ten thousand mile, my dear,
If I go ten thousand mile.
Setting the bucket down on the dirt floor of the barn, Rose eased beside Liverpool, her milk cow. Why the song allayed her fears she could not say, for it was nothing but a lie. Her father had not even gone ten thousand miles away. Yet he had never returned. Rose shooed a fly from the animal’s face and planted a kiss on her nose, eliciting a moo from the friendly cow and a jealous neigh from Valor, Rose’s filly in the adjoining stall.
“Don’t vex yourself, Valor. I’ll take care of you next.”
“Rose!” Aunt Muira’s voice rang from their home across the small yard.
Rose needed no further encouragement. She would attend to the animals later. “Coming!” she shouted as she made her way through the barn, nearly stumbling over Georgiana, one of her chickens. Squawking, the bird darted across the hay-strewn floor.
Gong. Gong. Gong.
Alarm gripped Rose’s stomach. Did the signal mean what she thought? Surely the British would not come this close to Baltimore.
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Thank you for dropping by again, MaryLu.
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