The Mystique of the American War of Independence

Freedom Giveaway Hop logoWelcome to my blog. The week of 1–7 July 2011, I’m participating with more than two hundred other bloggers in the “Freedom Giveaway Hop,” accessed by clicking on the logo at the left. All blogs in this hop offer book-related giveaways, and we’re all linked, so you can easily hop from one giveaway to another. But here on my blog, I’m posting a week of Relevant History essays, each one with a Revolutionary War theme. To find out how to qualify for the giveaways on my blog, read through each day’s Relevant History post below and follow the directions. Then click on the Freedom Hop logo so you can move along to another blog. Enjoy!

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In 1999, I began researching historical background for the manuscript that eventually became the award winning Paper Woman. From the start, I waded in the mist of myth. Every day, I was astounded by the discovery of more examples of propaganda labeled as fact, and men and women who’d been deified. I decided to have a look at the war for myself instead of parroting what I’d learned in history class or absorbed from popular culture.

When I did that, social, religious, and economic systems got turned on their heads. Funny how that happens.

All that mythmaking was bound to occur. We humans have a lusty appetite for good stories. The last eyewitness to the Revolutionary War died in the 1800s. That meant nobody was around to contradict the tweaks we were making to facts, the tall tales we were spinning for posterity. Like the following twaddle:

The Southern colonies were unimportant in the war, and most of the fighting occurred in the Northern colonies.

Women were delicate damsels, expected to concern themselves with bearing and raising children only, considered “improper” if they owned or operated businesses.

Every colonist was either loyal to King George or a patriot.

What you’ll find on my blog this week is not your father’s Revolutionary War. I’ve never written it that way, and I won’t be writing it that way, and my guest authors don’t write it that way. This week, they’ll help me bring you down to earth about this historical free-for-all, show you the reality.

So let’s prime the pump. What “fact” about a past civilization did you learn in history class or popular culture that you later found out was balderdash?

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I’m giving away an ebook copy of Paper Woman to someone who contributes a legitimate comment on my blog today or tomorrow. Make sure you provide your email address. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment on this post by Saturday 2 June at 6 p.m. ET, then publish the name of the winner on my blog the week of 11 July. No eReader required. Multiple file formats are available.

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Contact Suzanne

Let’s talk!

I enjoy chatting with my readers. It helps me write faster. Here are ways to contact me:

When will my next book be released? How can you receive free downloads, discounts, and special offers?

Sign up for my free newsletter by typing your email address below. I’ll send the newsletter no more than four times per year, and I won’t share your email address. The newsletter will contain the following perks for subscribers only:

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Thank you!

About Suzanne

Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont, named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and spending time with her family.

When will Suzanne’s next book be released? How can you receive free downloads, discounts, and special offers?

Sign up for Suzanne’s free newsletter by typing your email address below. The newsletter will be sent no more than four times per year, and your email address won’t be shared. The newsletter will contain the following perks for subscribers only:

  • Book release news
  • Excerpts
  • Free downloads from Relevant History authors and me
  • Discounts
  • Special offers
  • Drawings

Enter your email address:

Thank you!

Author Lineup for the Week-Long Fourth of July Relevant History Book Giveaway

Freedom Giveaway Hop logoIn honor of Independence Day, 1 – 7 July 2011, I’m posting an entire week of Relevant History essays, each with an Independence Day theme. This blogapalooza is associated with the “Freedom Giveaway Hop.”

Here’s the author lineup:

If you like mystery and adventure, YA and adult, set during the Revolutionary War, mark your calendars now, then hop back to my blog for a chance to win books on this tour.

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The South’s Other War

When did the Civil War start—1861? That was the second Civil War. Many scholars believe that the Revolutionary War, especially the way it developed in the Southern colonies, was America’s first Civil War. Monday 20 June, I’m Kaye Barley’s blog guest on Meanderings and Muses, talking about “The South’s Other War” and why we Southerners sometimes shoot our own credibility in the foot with our love of legends. Stop by and weigh in on your favorite folklore or outrageous legend from the South.

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Suzanne’s Books

BooksBySAdair

Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thrillers

AdairRegulatedForMurderCoverLoRes  Regulated for Murder  

For ten years, an execution hid murder. Then Michael Stoddard came to town.

Bearing a dispatch from his commander in coastal Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat Lieutenant Michael Stoddard arrives in Hillsborough in February 1781 in civilian garb. He expects to hand a letter to a courier working for Lord Cornwallis, then ride back to Wilmington the next day. Instead, Michael is greeted by the courier’s freshly murdered corpse, a chilling trail of clues leading back to an execution ten years earlier, and a sheriff with a fondness for framing innocents—and plans to deliver Michael up to his nemesis, a psychopathic British officer.

Awards:

Suspense Magazine “Best of 2011”

Sample Review:

“Driven by a desire to see justice done, no matter what guise it must take, [Michael Stoddard] is both sympathetic and interesting.”Motherlode

Buy: Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Nook ~ Paperback

 


AHTHCoverProgress3Mar13Asmall  A Hostage to Heritage  

A boy kidnapped for ransom. And a madman who didn’t
bargain on Michael Stoddard’s tenacity.


Spring 1781. The American Revolution enters its
seventh grueling year. In Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat investigator
Lieutenant Michael Stoddard expects to round up two miscreants before Lord
Cornwallis’s army arrives for supplies. But his quarries’ trail crosses with
that of a criminal who has abducted a high-profile English heir. Michael’s
efforts to track down the boy plunge him into a twilight of terror from radical
insurrectionists, whiskey smugglers, and snarled secrets out of his own past in
Yorkshire.

Awards:

Indie Book of the Day Award

Sample Review:

“Suzanne Adair is on top of her game with this
one.”
— Jim Chambers

Buy: Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Nook ~ Paperback

 

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Mysteries of the American Revolution

  AdairPaperWomanCoverEbook96dpi Paper Woman

She expected the redcoats to solve her father’s murder. The redcoats and her father had other plans.

In early June 1780, the village of Alton, Georgia, is rocked by the triple murder of the town printer and one of his associates, both outspoken patriots, and a Spanish assassin. Alton’s redcoats are in no hurry to seek justice for the murdered men. The printer and his buddies have stirred up trouble for the garrison. But the printer’s widowed daughter, Sophie Barton, wants justice for her father. Under suspicion from the redcoats, Sophie sets out on a harrowing journey to find the truth about her father — a journey that plunges her into a hornet’s nest of terror, treachery, and international espionage.

Awards:

Patrick D. Smith Literature Award recipient

Sample Review:

“…a swashbuckling good mystery yarn!” — The Wilmington Star-News

Buy: Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Nook ~ Paperback

 

  AdairTheBlacksmithsDaughterCoverLoRes The Blacksmith’s Daughter

The patriots wanted her husband dead. So did the redcoats. She took issue with both.

In the blistering Georgia summer of 1780, Betsy Sheridan uncovers evidence that her shoemaker husband, known for his loyalty to King George, is smuggling messages to a patriot-sympathizing, multinational spy ring based in the Carolinas. When he vanishes into the heart of military activity, in Camden, South Carolina, Betsy follows him, as much in search of him as she is in search of who she is and where she belongs. But battle looms between Continental and Crown forces. The spy ring is plotting multiple assassinations. And Betsy and her unborn child become entangled in murder and chaos.

Sample Review:

“Adair holds the reader enthralled with constant action, spine-tingling suspense, and superb characterization…” — Midwest Book Review

Buy: Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Nook ~ Paperback

 

  AdairCampFollowerCoverLoRes Camp Follower

A deadly assignment. A land poisoned by treachery and battle. She plunged in headfirst.

Late in 1780, the publisher of a loyalist magazine in Wilmington, North Carolina offers an amazing assignment to Helen Chiswell, his society page writer. Pose as the widowed, gentlewoman sister of a British officer in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons, travel to the encampment of the British Legion in the Carolina backcountry, and write a feature on Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. But Helen’s publisher has secret reasons for sending her into danger. And because Helen, a loyalist, has ties to a family the redcoats suspect as patriot spies, she comes under suspicion of a brutal, brilliant British officer. At the bloody Battle of Cowpens, Helen must confront her past to save her life.

Awards:

Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Historical Mystery/Suspense nominee

Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction nominee

Sample Review:

“Adair wrote another superb story.” — Armchair Interviews

Buy: Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Nook ~ Paperback

 

Sizzle Into a Week-long Fourth of July Relevant History Book Giveaway!

In honor of Independence Day, 1 – 7 July 2011, I’m posting an entire week of Relevant History essays, each with an Independence Day theme. Authors like J. R. Lindermuth and award-winner Charles F. Price will be giving away books during the week.

You know the drill. Read the essay, leave a comment, get the chance to win. Readers, this is the place to hang out the first week of July, especially if your TBR pile is running low.

FreedomGiveawayHopButton My blog is one of several hundred lined up for the “Freedom Giveaway Hop” that runs from 1 – 7 July. When you click on this image here during that week, you can hop to any number of other blogs on the tour. Follow the directions on each blog, and earn the opportunity to win what they’re giving away. Lots of genres, lots of prizes. You could score big by the time the blog tour hops to its completion.

I’ll post the guest lineup closer to the start date. Mark your calendars for 1 – 7 July, and make sure you hop back to my blog then for a chance to win books on this tour.

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The Winner of Beaufort 1849

M.E. Kemp has won a copy of Beaufort 1849 by Karen Lynn Allen. Congrats, Marilyn!

Thanks to Karen Lynn Allen for showing us a great example of a hero who accomplished his feat of derring-do without violence. Thanks, also, to everyone who visited and commented on Relevant History this week. Watch for another Relevant History post, coming soon.

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The Improbable Story of Robert Smalls, Beaufort Hero

KarenAllenAuthorPhoto Relevant History welcomes historical fiction author Karen Lynn Allen. Allen grew up in San Francisco and Edmonds, Washington. At seventeen, she returned to California to study English and industrial engineering at Stanford University. Early in her working career, she worked for Intel, Kellogg’s, and Procter and Gamble, but writing was always her true love. Her first novel, Pearl City Control Theory, reflects her experiences working in corporate America.  Her latest novel, Beaufort 1849, a novel of antebellum South Carolina published by Cabbages and Kings Press, is based on two years of research. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. For more information, check her blog.

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This is a piece of history I wish I could’ve incorporated into Beaufort 1849 but the timing just wouldn’t work.

KarenAllenRobertSmallsPicture Robert Smalls began his life in 1839 in a slave cabin in Beaufort. In his teens he was sent to Charleston and hired out to work for wages that his owner would collect, a not uncommon practice. He worked in a hotel, as a lamplighter, and then on the wharves and docks of Charleston. He married, had children, and eventually worked his way up to a wheelman, learning to pilot the Charleston harbor. Though undeniably constrained by the realties of slavery, his life had much more scope for initiative and resourcefulness than the average slave.

During the Civil War, Smalls was assigned as wheelman on the steamer, Planter, an armed dispatch and transport boat used by the Confederacy. On the night of May 13, 1862, the white crew decided to spend the night on shore, probably to amuse themselves with the distractions Charleston had to offer. Robert Smalls and the seven other slave crewmen took the opportunity to strike. With a Confederate flag flying and Smalls dressed in a captain’s uniform, at 3 a.m. Smalls backed the boat out of her slip and made way to a nearby wharf where the families of Smalls and other crew members were hiding in wait. After loading the contraband passengers, Smalls brazenly chugged the boat past the five Confederate forts guarding the harbor. Then, taking down the Confederate flag and hoisting a white sheet in its stead, he made a beeline for the blockading Federal fleet just beyond. Luckily the first US Navy ship he encountered noticed the sheet moments before it was set to open fire on the renegade vessel.

Smalls turned Planter over to the U.S. Navy, along with its cargo of artillery and explosives. Even more valuable, he handed over a codebook that revealed Confederacy secret signals and placement of mines and torpedoes around Charleston harbor. In addition, due to his comprehensive familiarity with the area, Smalls was able to offer extensive information about the harbor’s defenses.

The North was delighted! Smalls was an overnight hero and media sensation in Northern papers. Congress passed a bill awarding Smalls and the other seven crewmen $1500 in prize money for the captured vessel. Two weeks after the daring escape Smalls even met Abraham Lincoln himself, who was impressed by Smalls’s account of his exploits. Smalls’s deeds became a major argument for allowing African Americans to serve in the Union Army, and Smalls himself served as a pilot for the Union forces. In 1863 Smalls became the first black Captain of a vessel in the service of the United States.

As much as Smalls was lauded by the North, he was in equal parts reviled by the South. In a war, one side’s hero is almost necessarily the other side’s varlet.

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KarenAllenBookCover A big thanks to Karen Lynn Allen. She’ll give away a copy of Beaufort 1849 to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available within the U.S. and Canada for the winner’s choice of print or ebook format, and ebook format only for an international winner.

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Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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