Today I have the privilege of welcoming the three talented authors who participated with me in the writing of the Colonial Courtships novella collection. The setting is mid-18th century Glassenbury, Connecticut.
I asked them to come by so we tell you more about Colonial Courtships and you can get to know each of them better. Since my novella is first in the anthology, I'll start first and then Amber, Laurie Alice, and Lisa will join in to share about their stories.
Carla – Carving a Future features ship's figurehead carver Nathaniel Ingersoll who has apprenticed for many years under his Uncle Phineas and hopes to become a master ship carver in his own right. Constance Starling was spirited away from England to the Connecticut coast as an indentured servant, arriving too ill for anyone to accept her. When Nathaniel takes pity on her, he purchases her contract and may jeopardized the future he has worked so hard to achieve for the welfare of a weakly servant.
Carving a Future by
Carla Olson Gade
Nathaniel Ingersoll and
Amber – In Trading Hearts, Jonathan Ingersoll is a successful merchant trader along the Great (Connecticut) River. When flooding forces him to take sanctuary in an unfamiliar inn along his route, he meets the innkeeper’s daughter, Clara Marie Preston. Immediately attracted to her shy, yet caring spirit and quiet faith, Jonathan makes a point to return. But animosity from her brother gives him pause. Learning the source of the resentment only spurs Jonathan to try that much harder to prove his worth. Doubts are cast upon his character, and his trade sales begin to decrease. When he tracks down the pirates who attacked Clara’s brother and sees justice served, things take a turn for the better. Finally, he can accept the full blessing for a union of marriage and make plans once more for the future.
Trading Hearts by
Jonathon Ingersoll and
Clara Marie Preston
Laurie Alice – Over a Barrel – After being wounded, while fighting alongside the British on the frontier, Micah Ingersoll figures his future lies in making the town bakehouse a success. He doesn’t expect to find a woman willing to marry a partially lame man. He especially doesn’t expect to meet her in his storeroom covered in flour after hiding her daughter in an emptied barrel. Sarah Carter can’t be up to any good. At best she’s a run-away servant. At worst? She is running from a man who wants to force her, a widow heiress, into marriage, but if Micah won’t help her, Sarah must take her daughter and keep running from danger. Micah finds her shelter and work with the intent to keep an eye on her until he discovers the truth of her story. But lovely and lively Sarah at close hand means losing his heart to her regardless of her past.
Over a Barrel by
Laurie Alice Eakes
Micah Ingersoll and
|Impressed by Love by|
Lisa Karon Richardson
Dr. Alden Ingersoll and
Lisa – Impressed by Love – Following her parents’ deaths, Phoebe Carlisle is traveling with her uncle, captain of the H.M.S. Aries, to live with cousins. An attack by a French ship-of-the-line forces them to seek refuge along the Connecticut River. Doctor Alden Ingersoll prefers to be in control of any situation, but his fate is ripped from his grasp when he’s pressed into the Royal Navy to tend an injured captain. In Phoebe’s company, Alden finds his desire to escape the ship fading. But pursuing her means abandoning hope of returning to his medical practice and his family.
How did you choose the occupations for your hero and heroines?
Carla – Long interested in Colonial New England history, I know that there were many shipbuilding communities in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the trades involved was figurehead ship carving. There was something romantic about the beautiful figures that were created. And when I discovered this picture, I knew there was a story there and felt it would be a good trade for a strong hero.
Amber – In our pre-sale discussions, we hashed out what each of the four brothers would be. I’d been in the middle of writing about a shipping industry mogul in the 1800’s, so ships were on my brain. Making Jonathan a merchant trader seemed only natural. Of course, considering his older brother is a master figurehead carver, it worked great.
Was there some historical research that you came across while working on your novella that you found interesting and would like to share with us?Lisa – Being a doctor was the second thing I wanted to do when I grew up. (Right after being an astronaut.) So the medical field has always had a tremendous amount of appeal. Combine that with the idea of doing something daring and experimental that flew in the face of the thinking of the day, and I couldn’t resist the allure.
Carla – There is some interesting lore surrounding the ship's figurehead, the sentinel proudly displayed upon the bow. To sail a ship without a figurehead was dangerous as it was thought that the figurehead embodied the ship's soul and would keep evil spirits at bay. If the ship sunk without a figurehead it was said that the sailor's ghosts would haunt the sea for eternity. If a ship's figurehead was painted black it was considered bad luck.
Laurie Alice – While researching barrels,I found an article about an apple rebellion amongst farmers in the 19th century. I’m afraid the details have eluded me after nearly two years and a lot of research.
Lisa – Some of the most fascinating research I stumbled upon had to do with early blood transfusion experiments. Sheep were used as donors based on the logic was that they were docile and easily led, therefore their blood would cause the person to whom it was transfused to be docile and easily led. There was also some vague notion that had its basis in the Bible’s metaphor of Christians as sheep.
Thank you, Carla! There is a special place in my heart for my debut series, and it seems as if I’ll be returning to that era and locale for some upcoming novels. Didn’t set out with a plan to write Colonial, but you write what sells. I especially love the era between the Civil War and World War I. It was full of such change and vibrancy. A blend of the societal norms you might find in Regency England with the factory workers of the Industrial Revolution and all the change in America that came with it. They call it the Gilded Age, and it’s an exciting time in our nation’s history.
I have a novella in Highland Crossings. “Printed on My Heart” is set in colonial North Carolina. Besides that, I have The Midwives series, which is set between 1809 and 1842 mostly in Virginia and a few other countries briefly. Then there is The Daughters of Bainbridge House, which are Regencies set in London and the English countryside. Better than Gold is the third book in a series with other authors, and I’ve just sold another Regency series to Zondervan, not yet named.
Thanks, Carla! It is definitely an exciting time. I’m looking forward to diving into Mistletoe Memories. That due date’s coming up soon! I have another colonial called The Magistrate’s Folly coming from Heartsong Presents in January 2013. And a three book series co-authored with Jennifer AlLee through Whitaker House. The Amazing Love series is set during the 1860’s and features plenty of intrigue, adventure and romance. Eureka!, the first story will be out in the Fall of 2013.
To learn more about Amber, Laurie Alice, and Lisa, visit them online by clicking the links to their websites located underneath their photos above. Also, please join us at the Romancing America blog over the next few weeks for more chances to win Colonial Courtships and to get to know our authors.