NOTE: Last fall for the launch of The Loyalist’s Luck I guest posted on a number of sites through the Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour. Today’s post is an updated version of one of those posts.
Suddenly voices sounded ahead of him and he clenched his weapon. Not fifty feet away a tall red-jacketed officer wearing a brightly coloured sash and a hat decked out with gold braid and a white ostrich feather broke out of the trees and ran toward him. Robert dug in his feet and with shaking hands fired his weapon. Back into the thicket he flew, the falling white-haired officer filling his mind as he tore down the path to the shelter below. His chest heaved and his heart threatened to leap out of it, both for the running and for his fear, which grew and grew. He thought he recognized the man he had felled. From The Loyalist’s Luck by Elaine Cougler
History doesn’t record who killed Sir Isaac Brock at the battle of Queenston Heights on the thirteenth of October, 1812. When I came upon that fact as I did research for The Loyalist’s Luck, a light clicked on in my head. Why not suggest that one of Lucy’s sons did the deed? She would be appalled.
My character, Robert Garner, in the years leading up to the War of 1812, met and married a young American woman and subsequently fought for the opposite side when war came. I imagined what the war would have been like for him as he climbed the heights at Queenston, knowing full well that his brothers might be shooting down at him. Or worse, he might very well see his own musket ball fell William or Thomas.
But I went farther. I had him shoot the beloved British commander. Of course Robert is a lesser fictional character in this novel but I’ve connected him to the history with this minor scene and in that way told some of the actual history of Sir Isaac Brock at Queenston Heights.
To give the reader clues about who the officer might be, I’ve added actual details about Brock’s attire. He wore the British red uniform, his hat sported gold braid and a white ostrich feather, and Tecumseh had recently given him the gaudy sash in recognition of Brock’s bravery.
But I didn’t actually say that Robert had shot Brock although in the very next paragraphs the point of view switches back to the British with William thinking about Brock’s death. The reader is welcome to surmise Robert has killed the British commander.
Sneak Peek at The Loyalist Legacy:
Today I wrote about Robert in the third book of the Loyalist trilogy, The Loyalist Legacy, and his tricky situation in the aftermath of the War of 1812. It’s 1818 and he is back on American soil after a harrowing escape across the Niagara River. I can’t tell you any more than that. (Spoiler Alert) What I can tell you is that though he is a fictional character he experiences the unsettled and downright unhealthy situation after the War of 1812 in Upper Canada which made life at best uncertain and at worst downright life-threatening for those real people who chose to live under British rule. In this third book their struggles against oppressive and cruel laws and grasping and selfish administrators are at times just as bad for the inhabitants as the war was. And that’s all I’m going to say! (The Loyalist Legacy will be published in the fall of 2016.)
For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!
The Loyalist’s Luck, Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.
The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!
by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship
Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.