Today I am delighted to welcome Liz Everly to my blog. She is going to explain how she does her research. There is also a blurb and all the links you need to buy the book and enter the giveaway.
By Liz Everly
I adore historicals. But I’m very particular. There are very few “regency” historical that I like, but it’s not the time period, it’s the framing of most of them. I don’t like reading about Dukes and Duchesses, I much prefer the common people. It’s their stories I find intriguing.
One of the things that intrigues me about history, overall, is how perceptions of it often don’t stack up to the reality of it. Which is why when I read about something that kicks my school-learning-belief system in the head, my writer’s ears prick. Being married to a historian has given me a keen sense of how history written in books skims the surface. My husband, has taught me to look deeper and think harder about history.
I’ve worked a couple of “walk-on” characters into this novel that are based on odd but true stories. One of the stories is about Ned, the African-American man who was married to a white woman. This was mentioned in the historical documents known as the Moravian Diaries and there is a book about it—“The Road to Black Ned’s Forge: A Story of Race, Sex, and Trade on the American Colonial Frontier” by Turk McClesky.
Another walk-on real character in the book is Mary Ingles, whose story of capture, escape, and survival is nothing short of miraculous. “Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom is a novel that brings to life this inspiring true story.
The Virginia frontier is a fascinating subject. I am lucky to live near to the Frontier Culture Museum, in Staunton, Va., where my husband works and I am able to ask many questions of the staff. It is home to many houses from many lands—one is a German farmhouse from around 1688-89 and the other an American house built by German-Americans summer of 1773. Both of these houses had later additions built on as the families prospered. These are the houses on which I based my ordinary.
For the food in my story, I relied on both the “Virginia Housewife” and several books by William Woys Weaver: “Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking” and the “Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.”
For some of the interesting German folkways, including powwow, I relied on the “Pennsylvania Dutch and Other Essays” by Phebe Earle Gibbons and “Hex and Spellwork: The Magical Practices of the Pennsylvania Dutch,” by Karl Herr .
Mathilde Miller wanted to be a good daughter and marry the son of a long-time family friend, Joshua Bowman. But she didn’t want to be the wife of a Pennsylvania farmer. She loved her life, cooking on the Virginia frontier at her family’s ordinary. The minute blacksmith Will McGlashen walks into her kitchen, her restlessness focused on him. Fresh from Scotland, with a voice “like a song” and thick coppery hair, her heart belonged to him. Was it possible for the daughter of a Pennsylvania German to marry a hired man from Scotland? What did she really know about Will McGlashen and his secret past?
Will McGlashen needed to keep his own counsel. A man with a past full of violence and loss in Scotland, he was grateful for this chance to rebuild his life as a blacksmith in Virginia. He’d have to ignore the undeniable pull he felt toward his boss’s eldest daughter. When Joshua Bowman showed up and claimed her, instead of providing resolution for will, it burns like the fire he wields in his blacksmith shop. As events unfold, Will wonders if the signs she’s sending him are all in his head and prays that he has the strength not to find out.
The story is set in the Virginia frontier in 1765, a time when Native Americans still lurked in the hills, bandits and robbers were handed swift justice, and enterprising men and their families attempted to live in and tame the wild western edge of the new colonies. An ordinary offering good food, a bed, and company for travelers along the way was a much welcomed respite. Mathilde and Will's story is woven into the history, adventure, and danger of the time period.
About Liz Everly
Liz Everly writes, plays, and cooks in a tiny house with a big garden. She writes under a pen name to escape expectations and to embrace all possibilities. She's the author of the SAFFRON NIGHTS SERIES (e-Kensington), and a contributor in THE LADY SMUT BOOK OF DARK DESIRES. She also writes regional bestselling cookbooks and Agatha-award nominated traditional mysteries under her own name. On any given day, you may find her researching murder, sex, or cooking techniques. She'd not have it any other way. @Lizeverly1 http://www.lizeverly.com
You can also find Liz on Facebook.