Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘The Promise of Deer Run’

Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour with Elaine Marie Cooper

Posted by elainemcooper on November 12, 2012

Merry Christmas, dear readers! I am thrilled to be a part of the Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour, where we promote the books that we hope will bless you.

This blog post will tell you about my Deer Run Saga, a historical romance series that focuses on two generations of a family in New England, beginning in the American Revolution. The first two books in this series have received numerous awards, including the nomination of The Road to Deer Run as Finalist in the 2011 Grace Awards contest. I am delighted and honored to introduce you to my three books:

The Road to Deer Run (Book 1)
British soldier Daniel Lowe has been captured after being wounded at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. He escapes from his captors and hides in the woods to die, only to be rescued by Mary Thomsen, an American farmwoman.

As his festering wound heals, his gratitude to the woman who saved him transforms into love. But as an enemy soldier, he is endangering Mary, as well as her widowed mother and little sister.

As he desperately tries to hide his identity, he is faced with numerous obstacles: exposure by the local Patriots, an attack by a British deserter intent on assaulting Mary; and his worst nemesis, the American soldier who loves Mary and figures out who Daniel really is.

The Road to Deer Run won Honorable Mention in Romance at the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival, Finalist in Religious Fiction at the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and won Best Romantic Excerpt in the online contest, Clash of the Titles.

What makes The Road to Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting?
For readers looking for well-researched historical fiction, they should consider this novel filled with romance as well as action and adventure. As the first book of the saga, it sets the scene for the series, which readers repeatedly tell me keeps them up late at night with the intensity of the plot. And the love story amidst the spiritual growth in the characters will draw readers into the tale of Daniel and Mary. A perfect read while cuddling with your Christmas sweetheart—or dreaming of finding a sweetheart under your tree!

The Promise of Deer Run (Book 2)

America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still plague the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run.

Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns, suffering from the memories of war that haunt him in the night, has withdrawn to a life of isolation. He still awaits his father who never returned from the war—a mystery that haunts him.

He is brought out of his self-imposed exile by a near-tragedy in the woods that brings him face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, someone he had long admired but he assumed had eyes for another. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual affection quickly blooms.

But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790 and filled with rich detail of the era, this book continues the story of the Thomsen and Lowe families as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.

The Promise of Deer Run won Best Romance at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, and was a Finalist in Religious Fiction for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year contest.

What makes The Promise of Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting?
This is the perfect book for anyone that has a loved one that suffers from war-related post-traumatic stress. The healing and spiritual growth that occurs in the characters of Nathaniel and Sarah will bring inspiration to those seeking hope when the world seems dark. And the romance? It will set the heart fluttering! There is a surprise Christmas story in this book as well. Be sure to have your tissues handy. :)

The Legacy of Deer Run (Book 3)

In the year 1800, Danny Lowe makes weapons for the defense of America, still a fledgling nation. He also protects his heart from the allure of Susannah, a young woman who seems so far above his station in life that he cannot win her.

She fights her own war against loneliness and grief. Despite her finery and airs, Susannah is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.

Love is the not the only entanglement. The nation’s enemies are afoot. They creep within the very walls where America’s defenses are being forged. Who are they? When will they strike? Who will survive their terrorism?

Intrigue of the heart and intrigue of the times are only part of this compelling story. This series finale is a gripping mix of romance and deception, faith and forgiveness, transgression and trial.

Janet Perez Eckles, author of Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, says, “Each scene and episode sings with heart-tugging emotion, thought-provoking insights and lasting messages of hardship and pain turned to healing, forgiveness and triumph.”

What makes The Legacy of Deer Run perfect for Christmas reading and gifting? This novel focusing on the next generation of the Lowe family is the perfect conclusion for the series. But don’t assume that only romance is found in between these pages. This tale is filled with intrigue and tension, as well as unresolved situations in the Lowe family that lead to unexpected events for the family. This story is filled with forgiveness and redemption when it seems that none can be found. And my readers describe the romance as “sizzling!” I hope that this entire series can find it’s way to your Christmas wish list as you learn so much about the early days of America.

* * * * *

The Grace Filled Christmas Blog Tour runs through to December 22nd. Don’t forget to check out all the other authors on the tour. Below is a link telling you who all the authors on the tour are and what dates they will be on their own blog sharing about their novels.

http://graceawardsdotorg.wordpress.com/grace-filled-christmas-blog-tour-2012/

Praying for a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to all my readers!!!

Elaine Marie Cooper is a writer of historical fiction as well as devotions and freelance stories for magazines. You can read one of her devotions in Edie Melson’s Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home. Look for her upcoming historical romance story called “The Tea Set” in I Choose You, a Christmas anthology releasing in Dec. 2012 through OakTara Publishers.

Posted in Author Marketing, History - American Revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Colonial American Motels

Posted by elainemcooper on April 13, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

Some kinds of research can be just plain fun.

For instance, who knew that in place of a chain of motels in the 1700’s, travelers stayed in taverns? Of course, there were no restaurant chains; folks stopped in designated homes called “ordinaries” for quick sustenance while on the road. These accommodations were usually strewn across the countryside every few miles—at least in the more settled areas. If it was frontier, well, better get out the musket to shoot some dinner. :-)

While taverns provided alcoholic beverages, they were also licensed by law to serve not just suitable beds for travelers, but also feed for their horses or oxen.

Food such as roast beef, leg of mutton, ham and cabbage, or perhaps a “fat fowl” were some of the dinners available to guests. Drinks were ale, wine and cider, but drunkenness was frowned upon and cause for a fine.

Most colonials never drank water as it was usually not clean and was known to cause illness. Boiling would have cured that problem but knowledge of bacteria and other microscopic troublemakers was unknown. Folks just knew the water made them sick.

Tavern keepers were usually citizens of good character with a good reputation in their community. Many were magistrates, politicians, or officers in the militia.

Colonial taverns were typically two story buildings with one large main room on the first floor and several smaller rooms for lodgers on the second. Besides offering hospitality to travelers however, these establishments were the main social center of a town. Business meetings were conducted here as well as militia meetings to muster men for the army just in case (let us suppose) they wanted to fight for freedom from England. Just supposing, of course.

One such tavern (still in existence as a historical landmark) is the Keeler Tavern in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Owned by a well-known patriot in the 1770’s named Timothy Keeler, there was suspicion that musket balls for the Continental Army were being manufactured in the tavern basement. In 1777, the British decided to assault the building by firing a few cannon balls, one of which put a large hole in the north wall. Another shot barely missed a patron ascending the tavern stairs. It frightened the poor man so much that it is said he screamed, “I’m a dead man, I’m a dead man!” until his friends convinced him otherwise. The landlord’s son, Jeremiah Keeler joined the Continental Army at age 17, and the story goes that the young sergeant was the first to scale the British redoubt at Yorktown in that decided victory against England.

Colonial American history is so fascinating!

What is truly fun about researching for fiction, is then translating these historical facts into a story. Here is an excerpt from The Promise of Deer Run that developed from the information I gleaned about traveling in the 1700’s:

The afternoon sleigh ride seemed endless. Mile after mile, forests of chestnuts, oaks, and maples lined the roadway. Occasionally an open field widened the landscape and a few deer in the meadows would scurry away at the sound of their sleigh. Dusk was nearing, and Nathaniel prodded Babe to drive a little faster. They had already traveled a total of thirty miles or more and were trying tor each a town called Brookfield before dark. At last Nathaniel caught sight of a two-story house with a sign in front.
“There! There’s the tavern, Sarah.”
The exhausted young woman peeked out from beneath the quilts.
“It could not have come any too soon.” Sarah sat up, her face twisting in pain. “I feel so stiff and sore.”
They both read the wooden sign out front:

Drink for the thirsty
Food for the hungry
Lodging for the weary
And good keeping for horses

Nathaniel grinned at Sarah.
“I’m certain Babe will be relieved at the ‘keeping for horses.’” He jumped out of the sleigh, the prospect of warmth and rest invigorating his limbs. “Let us get you inside first.” He carefully helped her out of the sleigh and hurried her inside out of the cold. A blast of warmth and pulsating light from the large hearth inside greeted the travelers.
The tavern keeper was pouring ale for a customer. When he looked up and saw the couple a look of concern swept across his face.
“Needin’ a midwife, are ye?”
“No sir…not yet. But we do need lodging for the night.”
“That I can provide. But birthin’? Not part of my hospitality, sir.”

Photo above: Keeler Tavern, Ridgefield, CT

In celebration of The Promise of Deer Run winning Best Romance at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, I will be offering a free book giveaway to one of today’s commenters! Leave a comment with your E-mail address and I will enter you in a drawing!

Posted in Book Giveaway, History - American Revolution, Hospitality | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

A Humbling Thing Happened…

Posted by elainemcooper on March 9, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

The notorious "Stinky Sweater"

I love to find humor in odd places and situations—such as, winning an award and traveling to receive it.

All packed and ready for my trip to Los Angeles to receive Best Romance award for my novel The Promise of Deer Run at the LA Book Festival, my wardrobe only lacked one item: My favorite cotton purple sweater. Now there’s a smart thing to wear in much-warmer Southern California. No problem—except I had left the sweater at a radio station where I had been interviewed months before.

Arranging for hubby to pick up the sweater the night before I left on his way home from work, I gratefully grabbed my garment and took a quick look. Appeared to be nice and clean. What I had forgotten was that my husband had taken the dog to the groomer in his car a few weeks prior. Apparently our Corgi was, shall we say, odorific.

Everything went pretty well, until I reached my connection in Minneapolis. Rushing from one end of the airport to another to catch my next flight, I sank gratefully into the chair, warmed all over by the quick pace. Suddenly I smelled something.

Did I forget my deodorant? I panicked. A quick run to the restroom assured me I had not. But a sniff test on the purple sweater told me the source. It stunk like a dog.

Doing my best to decrease my body heat—the warmer I was, the more it smelled—I smothered scented hand cream on my hands and arms.

Maybe that will cover it up.

It was time to board and the smiling airline rep that took my boarding pass heard a special sound on her machine. “Oh! You’ve been upgraded to First Class,” she said in her most cheerful voice.

Great. Now I get to stink up first class. “Thanks,” I replied, praying her nose might be temporarily plugged up.

Skulking down the ramp toward my jet, I devised a plan. I would take off the outer sweater and stash it. Seeing my poor row partner already seated I smiled and very carefully removed my outer sweater. Did I imagine it or was he plastered as far to the side as was possible without climbing out the six-inch by nine-inch window?

As I removed the sweater, I realized I now had another problem. My turtleneck was far shorter than I desired. If it slid up an inch or so, my residual “muffin” of fat above my jeans—still clinging to life even after a month on the elliptical—would likely frighten to death this First Class bunch on their way to Liposuction Land.

Oh well. It’s easier to close one’s eyes than one’s nose.

I sighed. I figured at least I knew revival skills from my nursing days if anyone passed out.

Finally arriving in Southern California, I made arrangements with my daughter-in-law to wash my sweater “forthwith” as they would say in Colonial America.

But this was not the end of humility. Finally arriving at the award ceremony in Hollywood on Saturday evening, I was handed the program listing all the winners, runners up, and honorable mentions. Although my book won first place, it was listed in the program as “Runner Up.” I suddenly felt like the Miss America second best that was hoping for the crown, but saw it placed on someone else’s head. Sigh.

I approached the event coordinator and pointed out the error. He assured me he would set it straight during the announcement—which he did. And the award itself said, “Winner.”

I had to laugh. I felt God poking me in the ribs ever so gently with His humorous touch, reminding me of my place in this universe.

* * *

My favorite “humility story” since receiving this honor was a conversation with my elderly, hard-of-hearing Mom on the phone the day after the announcement. It went something like this:

Me: Mom, I won first place for my book, The Promise of Deer Run! I get to go to LA!
Mom: Which book?
Me: The Promise of Deer Run
Mom: The second one?
Me: Yes!
Mom: And you won third place? That’s great.
Me: No, Mom, I won First Place.
Mom: You won third place. Well that is pretty good!

SIGH Nothing like a mom to keep one humble!

* * *

But the best part is knowing that third place or first place or NO place, what is important in life is not the awards given to us, but the people that we love who are there for us, no matter the kudos from others. They are always rooting for us. These treasured folks are what makes life worthwhile. And I am the most grateful for these precious loved ones in my life.

They’ll even love me in a stinky sweater. :-)

Posted in Author Marketing, History - American Revolution, Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Early American Thanksgiving

Posted by elainemcooper on November 11, 2011

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

When we sit down at our Thanksgiving meal this month, we’ll be recreating a celebration that is as old as our country: sharing food with loved ones while thanking God Who has provided the abundance.

While we understand that the First Thanksgiving here was celebrated by the Mayflower survivors along with the Indians that had helped them, the first official proclamation that was decreed to celebrate such a holiday was in 1777. It was a recommendation to the thirteen states by the Continental Congress to set aside December 18th that year as a “solemn thanksgiving” to celebrate the first major victory for the Continental troops in the American Revolution: the Battle of Saratoga.

British Re-enactors at the Battle of Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga has significant interest for my own family since one of my ancestors was a soldier there. But he was not on the American side—he was a British Redcoat. After surrendering to the Americans, he escaped the line of prisoners and somehow made his way to Massachusetts and into the life and heart of my fourth great-grandmother. *SIGH* L’amour!

This family story was the inspiration for my Deer Run Saga that begins in 1777 with The Road to Deer Run. There is an elaborate Thanksgiving meal scene in this novel as well as in the sequel, The Promise of Deer Run.

Some may wonder why such detail was afforded this holiday in my novels set in Massachusetts, while Christmas is barely mentioned. The reason is simple: Thanksgiving was the major holiday in the northern colonies, with Christmas considered nothing more special than a workday. According to Jack Larkin in his book, The Reshaping of Everyday Life, “The Puritan founders of New England and the Quaker settlers of Pennsylvania had deliberately abolished (holidays) as unscriptural.”

But Thanksgiving was begun as a way to give thanks to God for His provision. It usually began with attending church services in the morning, followed by an elaborate feast in the afternoon. The food for this meal was prepared for weeks in advance.

Dennis Picard, Director, Storrowton Village Museum

Since the individual state governors chose their own date to celebrate the holiday, it was theoretically possible for some family members—if they lived in close proximity—to celebrate multiple Thanksgiving meals with family and friends across state borders. The dates chosen could be anywhere from October to December, according to Dennis Picard, Director of the Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Chicken was most commonly served, said Picard, as it was readily available in the barnyard. And the oldest woman in the home had the honor of slicing the fowl for dinner.

Dresser from Storrowton Museum

Pies were made well in advance of the holiday and stored and became frozen in dresser drawers in unheated rooms.

“I like the idea of pulling out a dresser drawer for, say, a clean pair of socks, and finding mince pies,” said Picard, tongue in cheek.

Indeed. :-)

Have a BLESSED Thanksgiving!

Posted in History - American Revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Promise of Deer Run, by Elaine Marie Cooper

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 20, 2011

Announcing

the Release of The Promise of Deer Run book two in the Deer Run saga

available in both print and electronic form!

 

Book Summary

America’s war for freedom from England has been over for seven years, but the wounds of that conflict still plague the minds and hearts of the residents of Deer Run.

Young American veteran Nathaniel Stearns, suffering from the memories of war that haunt him in the night, has withdrawn to a life of isolation. He still awaits his father who never returned from the war—a mystery that haunts him as well.

He is brought out of his self-imposed exile by a near-tragedy in the woods that brings him face-to-face with nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, someone he had long admired but he assumed had eyes for another. This chance encounter opens a crack into the door of his heart as mutual
affection quickly blooms.

But slander and lies soon mar the budding romance, rendering both Sarah and Nathaniel wounded and untrusting as their faith in both their God and each other is shattered. Set in 1790 and filled with rich detail of the era, this book continues the story of the Thomsen and Lowe families as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the war that birthed the United States.

The Promise of Deer Run is Book Two in the Deer Run Saga. Book one is entitled, The Road to Deer Run.

About the Author:

Elaine Marie Cooper, author of The Road to Deer Run

Although currently living in the Midwest, Elaine Marie Cooper spent much of her childhood in Massachusetts. She has long been interested in family history as well as Early American history. She is a registered nurse and an award-winning freelance writer.

Elaine is a regular contributor to a blog on the Midwest called The Barn Door (thebarndoor.net) and Reflections in Hindsight (reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com) where she has a regular column, Revolutionary faith.

She lives with her husband of 35 years (Steve) and three dogs and one cat. Both her sons are married and Elaine is “Grammie” to triplets. Her only daughter Bethany died in 2003 from a brain tumor. “The Road to Deer Run” is lovingly dedicated to her memory.

Read our Review of the book here!

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, History - American Revolution, Writing | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The Sunday Book Review: The Promise of Deer Run

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 18, 2011

The War for Independence is over, though its after-effects may never be for those who suffered through it. The United States of America was forged on the backs of strong men and women who battled, held true to their dreams of a better future, came home from the front and carried on the best they could to make those dreams come true.

Elaine’s lovely sequel to The Road to Deer Run picks up several years after Daniel and Mary’s story began. Years after the war is ended wounded veteran Nathaniel Stearns leaves his father’s regiment to return to an empty house in Deer Run. Nathaniel’s little brother has died of fever and his mother, no longer able to hold their farm on her own, decided to await their return in Boston. Nathaniel visits Boston with promises to his mother that he will keep their farm going and wait for his father to come home. He keeps his promise eight years while growing more bitter and heartsick and lonely. When a young headstrong neighbor girl grows up and catches his eye, he is certain she could never love him, scarred as he is both inside and out from his war experience. But Sarah Thomsen follows her own mind and heart, and despite everyone else’s belief that she would be better off with a well-to-do but rascally town fellow, she throws her fate at Nathaniel’s feet. Together, they continue to search out the fate of Nathaniel’s father.

Deer Run is a strong and lively New England community filled with lovingly painted characters who will draw readers in and keep them  entertained. Elaine’s careful research makes it seem normal to use natural remedies in any situation. From toothache to heart-ailment, and even death, life on the frontier is raw and real. Faith and prayer might not answer “yea” to every situation, but certainly keep the faithful from despair when their deepest fears play out.

 Sarah is the young sister of Mary, who was introduced to us in the first book. Their mother, the local midwife, is kept busy, especially since the war years. Though Sarah respects her mother and her husband, she stubbornly insists on helping Nathaniel find his father. In so doing, she risks not only her life, but that of her child. Readers will groan in sympathy, laugh, and shed a tear for these families of Deer Run. But mostly, they’ll make you feel right at home.

Elaine is our guest on Tuesday! Come back to read more about her fascinating journey to publication.

The Promise of Deer Run

By Elaine Marie Cooper

Book Two of the Deer Run saga

c. August, 2011

ISBN: 9781462037964

$16.95 or $7.95 Nook

♦♦♦♦◊

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged: , | Comments Off

 
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