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I Met My Writing Heroes!

HNS2015-logo3This past weekend was the Historical Novel Society Conference in Denver, Colorado and I was there. My fellow writers and I arrived Thursday evening in the mile-high city and that was the last I saw of the outdoors until Sunday night when we left the hotel for a dinner out. The interim was filled with workshops, pitches, meals, speakers, coffee klatsches, and dozens of connecting conversations with authors, wannabes, editors, and agents, all united in their desire to talk about historical fiction. Fantastic.

Right out of the gate I found I had made a mistake by not signing up for the sword-fighting extra session before the conference began. My friends raved about it. I spent the time relaxing and discovered I’m not really that good at it. Live and learn. The conference began in earnest on Friday night with a lovely dinner even though we were all packed in like berries in a box and, yes, there was a bit of smushing going on. The conference had over 450 attendees, the most ever.

SKP and me

Sharon Kay Penman and I after the coffee klatsch.

Saturday morning I was in the conference lobby at 6:40 a.m. to sign up for a coffee klatsch with Sharon Kay Penman (held on Sunday morning.) The next day I got there early, the room was unavailable and SKP and I stood and talked for 15 minutes. Her books have meant so much to me that I had to tell her my joy at reading them all beginning with The Sunne in Splendour. A petite and classy lady, she was delighted with my story and we talked about her other books as well as my writing. Then ten of us sat around a conference table and asked questions of this amazing and prolific writer.

Although I’m very happy being an Indie author, I had signed up to pitch two agents just to investigate the other side. I glanced across the room while I was waiting for my turn to pitch and saw three waiting pitchers sitting side by side outside an agent’s door. Their faces–indeed their whole bodies–were completely frozen in fear. I’m so glad to have reached the stage where I take these things in stride.

My session went well and I’ll have more on that in a later post.

Penman George Smith

Sharon Kay Penman, Margaret George and Anne Easter Smith at conference table.

One of the workshops I attended had Sharon Kay Penman, Margaret George and Anne Easter Smith whose treasured books are all on my shelf as mementos of fabulous reads I’ve enjoyed. Imagine a panel with all three of them discussing Damsels to the Rescue: Reviving the Male Protagonist. Ably hosted by author David Blixt of sword fighting fame (pictured below) the session was quite informative although I don’t really worry about whether my protagonists are male or female, just whether they are compelling.

David Blixt

Sally Karen Cryssa

Hana Samek Norton2

My other Canadian author friends, Sally Moore, Karen Martindale, and Cryssa Bazos were at the conference, too, as well as Hana Samek Norton, who returns frequently to Canada although she now lives in the U.S. Having this group along doubled the fun as we could revel in each other’s success. We were often referred to as the Canadian contingent and one person on the elevator caught me for using the giveaway “eh” phrase. Funny.

Next week’s post will complete the HNS review with more pictures and even Diana Gabaldon. Come back and join me, please. :-)

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

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Research, Writing and Reality

Eight years ago when I started writing seriously, three hours in my morning were dedicated to working on my first book. Then I carried on with the rest of my day, puttering, reading for pleasure, gallivanting with my husband, riding my bicycle, hitting the gym and the coffee shop afterwards with my friends, and just doing what I pleased. Oh, and I had time for a bit of housework. I was retired.

Fast forward to today. I wake and grab my iPad to see what new writing messages have come in, I respond, I read new web posts, I get up and get my breakfast, and I take it to my computer where I deal with emails and marketing. This takes about an hour and a half. Then I shower and get ready for the day. Maybe some dishes hit the dishwasher or some bathroom cleanup happens but by 9 I’m back at my computer turning off my email and my phone and closing the door. It’s time to write.

A couple of hours later I surface and plug in to the world again letting my patient husband know my door is open and stretching up out of my chair to prepare lunch. There’s a sense of freedom and definitely a great feeling of accomplishment even if I’ve only written 2 pages. On good days it’s 3.

In the afternoons or on the weekends sometimes we get away from our computers and hit the road. I like nothing better than to walk the sites where my characters might have walked and even more I love to find places that will work their way into my writing. The Angel Inn is one such place.

Photo by Elaine Cougler

Photo by Elaine Cougler

This venerable old establishment found its way into my second book in the Loyalist trilogy and is also a pivotal place in the third which I’m writing now. Can you not just see Lucy carrying a pitcher to waiting patrons? This is where research is really mixed with reality and on our visits to present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake we love to lunch here. It’s a unique kind of research when you sit in a building which was rebuilt in 1815 after the fire two years earlier in the War of 1812.

Photo credit Elaine Cougler

Photo by Elaine Cougler

The other day I was speaking at a local Rotary club and I read about the Americans burning the town before hightailing it back across the river ahead of the British. I told the story of my research where I found the story of a sick old woman carried bed and all out into the snow-filled street to watch the Canadian volunteers torch her home.

Photo by Elaine Cougler

Photo by Elaine Cougler

Can’t you just see Lucy running from the door under the flag, her arms full of sheets and pots and anything else she could gather in the hour the townspeople had before the flames would destroy their town? Imagine snow and cold and very soon flames pursuing the poor people. Here is my description from The Loyalist’s Luck:

People howled in the streets. When the torchers reached the
house next door they learned that the old woman who lived there
was sick and could not leave her bed. The soldier gave the order
to carry her, bed and all, outside into the snow where she lay shivering
under her blankets as her house burned to the ground. Lucy
ran to the bed and heaped her spare blankets on the woman but
they gave no comfort to the woman or to Lucy.
As dusk came the flames lit up the night sky and for a while the
heat warmed the watchers so that they did not immediately begin
to look for shelter. When they did, there was none. The Fort was
still held by the Americans and all the buildings in the town were
burning. A cry went up as the church tower collapsed with a flaming
shower of sparks, most of which landed in the snow and were
extinguished. Others, however, fell on the townspeople, and one
wee boy’s coat was fully flaming before his mother screamed and
rolled him in the snow to douse the fire.

Today Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular tourist town with little hint of what happened there just over two hundred years ago. The history does make a wonderful story though. And a great place for this writer to visit. It’s all research, you know?

How About an Authors and History Cruise? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

***Need more information? We’re doing a webinar! Click for details.***

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Historical Fiction

 

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Thomas Ingersoll, Greeter at Ingersoll Public Library, and Me

Last night I just felt so supported! No, I’m not talking about my–ahem–clothing. I’m talking about my overwhelming pleasure at the support I receive from readers.

When I got to Ingersoll Public Library for my author talk last night, I wasn’t sure how many to expect. This is not my community even though long ago I skated at the arena one Saturday night. Seven years old, I heard my name boomed out over the loudspeaker, “Come off the ice!” I made my way along the boards, big boys whizzing by me so close I was afraid they’d trip my feet right out from under me, to my tall and smiling daddy standing at the propped open door. (He was afraid for my safety!) I felt safe then and I felt safe last night in that same nearby community.

Statue by Neil Cox in the Ingersoll Public Library foyer.

Statue by Neil Cox in the Ingersoll Public Library foyer.

It’s a beautiful library as you’ll see by clicking the link and its designers obviously treasure their past. Right in the spacious foyer stands a life-size statue of Thomas Ingersoll for whom the town is named. He received a grant of 67000 acres of land from the famed Governor Simcoe back in the 1700’s; hence, the town’s name. At today’s prices of $20,000 an acre, that’s some pretty awesome grant! My accountant husband busily did the math and told me it’s in the billions.

Back to the supporters. A number of familiar faces formed part of my small audience but at least half of the group were new to me. I was delighted to see all of them because as any author knows drawing a crowd is not easy. Thoughtful questions and generous comments came from this group who were excited about both my books and the Author Cruise I’m featured on in the fall.

Two people had their cell phones out taking pictures and tweeting about the event. Wow! That’s the first time I’ve been the lucky recipient of that! Their posts awaited me as I checked my own phone once I got home. I went to sleep thinking how great it is to be a published author.

Please share your own happy experiences along this journey or in any way you felt supported. And check out the cruise!

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

If You Build It, Will They Come?

I think we’re all a little like Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams.

“How could authors be like a baseball player with a besmirched name?” you ask.

Remember the plot of that great movie with Kevin Costner and Ray Liota, Amy Madigan and the incomparable James Earl Jones? That cornfield and those car lights stretching for miles will stay in my head forever and so will that voice Costner kept hearing. “If you build it, they will come.”

But Shoeless Joe waited until everything was perfect before he stepped out of the corn and brought his team with him. Luckily for him, Ray Kinsella, Kevin Costner’s character, was driven to sabotage his own corn crop and complete a perfect ball diamond. Jackson, however, didn’t come when the corn was plowed under. Or when the grass started to grow. Or at the building of the screens, the pitcher’s mound, the bases or the bleachers at the side. He came when everything was ready.

Are you like that? With your writing? Do you wait until everything is perfect before you write a word?

Last night I sat at a writers’ group meeting in a large city here in Ontario. I’ve belonged for a few years but my attendance has been spotty. When I first started to look at myself as a serious author, I traveled far and farther to learn what I needed to know. I flew across the country, drove hundreds of miles, started critique groups, crossed borders a few times and just went wherever I knew I could learn. And those travels led me to write books of which I am proud. I wanted to make them as perfect as they could be.

But back to last night. This group has not progressed; in fact, it has lost a lot of the people who were shakers and movers when my attendance was more regular a couple of years ago. As we did self introductions I was most interested to hear how many of those present (about 30) had never been there before. We went around the table telling a little about ourselves. Two things stood out. I was the only person who used her full name; the others just used their first name. And people seemed so apologetic and shy about what they were doing, even those who have been writing for years.

Members and visitors have in common a desire to write and, one assumes, to get published and known as writers. They should, therefore, introduce themselves with their full names. There is no place for bashfulness here. We must step up to the plate before the corn has reached full height or the cheering section is in place. A writer’s name is the shining light on the cover of her books or the byline of his articles. It’s marketing, people.

I belong to a second writing group whose meetings I travel miles to attend in snow, sleet and threat of flood. Well, not really. If the weather is horrid, I don’t drive the almost two hours to attend the Saturday morning breakfasts but usually it’s fine. This group has about 300 members, a vibrant executive, stunning guest speakers, a monthly breakfast meeting, workshops, courses in writing topics, its own magazine…the list goes on and on. I don’t attend everything and, because of the distance, some of the events are not possible for me to attend. When I go there, though, I see large groups of happy people delighted to be in a banquet room filled with others whose writing dreams are as magical as their own. Those people get what I’m doing and many of them help me, whether they know it or not.

And they are not apologetic!

The Writers’ Community of Durham Region has built a fine playing field. People are coming. In droves and flocks and buses. They even have an associate membership available so that those who are too far away can use the resources on their website. The current board members of this amazing group and those who came before have followed their own dreams and created something for the rest of us to use and enjoy. And, like Shoeless Joe, I’m stepping out of the cornfield and playing in a great game.

As for the first group, I’ve decided to try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. So many people have helped me and I’m thankful. It’s time to give back. Do you belong to a writing group? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Authors

 

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3 Exciting Things in This Writer’s Life

Guest Author Barbara Kyle

Author Barbara Kyle

This week has been a mixture of delight and challenge. Traveling when I have work to do is always difficult and when my granddaughter figures in the mix staying on track is even harder. Still, pleasing and/or amazing things have happened.

Here are three:

  1. I got a lovely email from my book loving friend, literary imprint in England, whose blog is called The Book Trail. Ms. Literary has a new idea for her site and has asked me to submit pictures of the historical sites mentioned in my books. I can hardly wait to get home and send off my files. Check out this link for The  Book Trail.

  2. Another email which pleased me no end was from author Barbara Kyle whose Thornleigh series of books are just a joy to read. Barbara is a Canadian author whose work is sold worldwide and she has a new contest she’s running. I offered to mention it here. Writers are encouraged to submit their writing and be judged by Barbara. The prizes are a $1200 manuscript evaluation, an opening 50-pages manuscript evaluation and an opening 25-page one. Here is the link but know that I want to win! Just kidding. Send in your work.

  3. I’ve saved the best till last: I actually got started writing the outline for The Loyalist Legacy due out in the fall of 2016. For about three months I’ve researched my heart out, finding things I expected and loads of things I didn’t. Some of the small local books on even smaller locations in my setting hold gems which just take me back to the time. You can be sure I’ll be using these tidbits in book three of the Loyalist trilogy. I started by writing down my characters, main and less important, and filling their paragraphs with whatever ideas about them were floating around my brain. That felt great. The next day, I actually tried to write about events chapter by chapter all the while working in my secondary plot ideas as well as the main story. Of course I know the story will evolve somewhat on its own once I start actually writing it but this stage helps me think of what should and could be included. I can hardly wait to get home and settle into my writing nest, glass of water in hand, door closed, and fingers finding their way on my own  keyboard.

And so, as we travel on Wednesday, my regular blogging day, my readers will get this missive from me a couple of days late. Hope your days are fine, filled with reading, and even writing!

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction! Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

Tags: , , ,

How About an Authors and History Tour?

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New York

Do you like holidays? How about a holiday with a purpose? One that not only takes you to glorious locations but stimulates your mind just enough to be exciting?

Well, me, too! I like to learn a little about the destinations and their history. And I especially like to learn about the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 when both Canada and the United States were just beginning. In fact, I’ve written two books on those topics and am working on the third.

My Loyalist trilogy focuses on the beginnings of these two great countries in a time when living here was not so great. Canada and the United States were not such good neighbours and many horrible things happened on both sides. Today we can cross the longest undefended border in the world with ease but it was not always so.

Bill Shaw at Expedia Travel is putting together a group to cruise out of New York in the fall. It’s his second Authors Cruise and he’s asked me to be the author! It’s a regular amazing cruise on a new Princess Cruise Lines ship for a week starting October 10, 2015.

So all the regular ship board stuff goes on plus there will be author events, readings, historical links to the ports of call, and even games, trivia, and fun. More on that later.

I’ve included the flyer Bill has prepared. My husband and I have  already signed up because cruising in early October with the leaves turning and going to Halifax, St. John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, and back to New York will be spectacular. If we were surrounded by a bunch of writers, history buffs, and friends, that would be even better. Note: Amounts on flyer are in Canadian dollars. Note #2: Bookings must go through Bill (TOLL FREE 1-877-436-8333 or www.cruiseshipcenters.com/Woodstock) to be part of the Author and History Tour group.

 

flyer

COME JOIN US! CALL OR EMAIL FOR INFORMATION TODAY.

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

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.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2015 in General, Historical Fiction, History

 

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How to Keep the New Year From Getting Old

fireworksI gave up writing New Years’ resolutions years ago. Did you? Or do you still, as the old year parties itself out, struggle to put your hopes and dreams into some kind of list which will magically transform you into that person you always wanted to be?

Once you’ve seen the ball drop, watched the old man cavort in diapers, or wiped that slobbery party kiss off a few times, rethinking the whole holiday becomes paramount. Here are a few of the things I’ve done to keep the new year fresh and fruitful.

I never actually make a list of resolutions. Rather than think of the weight I’d like to lose or the invitation I’d like to receive from the prime minister of Canada or the Queen of England, I think of less specific and more attainable goals.

I don’t write them in a list because if I do that list will haunt my days (and nights) for much of the year to come.

Although in the past I have used my own 12 point programs to effect changes in my life with a fair amount of success, these days, I change my focus. Rather than think of what I don’t like about myself or my inabilities, I think of what I have accomplished. And I keep a list of kudos and joys that have come my way.

These things are for the times I forget where I’m going or why.

Here are a few of them:necklace

  • A hand-made story book written by one of my students about her appreciation of me as her teacher.

  • A card from my sister’s in-laws, in their nineties, congratulating me on my “first but not the last book”.

  • A natural garnet stone from a dear friend because she was wishing me success with my books.

  • A necklace from my daughter whose oak tree image means potential for greatness, given to me as I struggled the last few steps to publication.

  • Countless cards and jewelry pieces from the man who is the best gift I ever received.

  • Appreciative comments from readers which I’ve collected into a list.

  • The sound of my far-away granddaughter’s voice when she picks up the phone to talk to me and her drawings on my frig.

All of these things and more are there for me to touch for strength. They make my New Years’ hopes shine as they relate to what I’ve done and accomplished.

Just for the record, here are my writing plans at present: research and write the rough draft of The Loyalist Legacy, book three in the Loyalist trilogy, push on with marketing the trilogy via new methods (more to come on those), and make every day count not just in writing but in living my life. These things will make me happy. What are your happiness-inducing plans? And when the year winds down will you have a basket full of mementos of a successful year? I sincerely hope so.

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Just For Fun

 

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