Thursday, February 21, 2019

Who Went to the Millinery Shop?

The word “millinery” sounded mysterious to me when I was a child as though it were part of the lingerie department! Millinery simply came from the root word of the city of Milan, meaning fine things that came from Milan, such as the ribbons and straw needed to make a stylish hat. It is thought that this word was used starting in 16th century England. The modern definition is someone who makes and sells women's hats.

Women’s hats throughout the 1800s showed so much variation, but whether gaudy or not, they were often decorated and trimmed with plentiful flowers and feathers. So much so that the British had to enact laws to protect certain birds. Though 1880s Paris set trends in headwear even as it continues to in the fashion industry today, there is one trend that thankfully didn’t catch on across the Pond. The stuffed heads of kittens and baby squirrels were perched amidst other trim to appear as though they were peeking out. Hard to imagine such a gruesome thing today!

In 1900 around 83,000 people, mostly women were employed in the millinery industry. Women’s hats were big business. A fashion-conscious woman wouldn’t leave her house without her hat and gloves. Hairstyles became more voluminous. Hair was combed back into place and puffed forward over the forehead. Fairly wide hats were worn tilted forward also. Both echoed the popular Gibson Girl “S-curve” shape of the body. As the volume of the hairdos increased, pompadour frames were placed underneath to support the hats, confections trimmed in tulle, artificial flowers, and plumes.
In 1902, hats often included the elegance of lace veils. Mid-decade, hats narrowed but grew in height. But as the decade progressed, women tended to part their hair in the middle and a poofy fullness was given to the sides. This accommodated a much wider-brimmed hat that wasn’t quite as tall. This style was worn around 1908-11. Think the first couple seasons of Downton Abbey! These hats were meant to balance out the straight up and down lines of newer women’s fashions. These wide-brimmed hats were referred to as Picture or Gainsborough hats. They were fastened onto a lady’s hair with long hatpins.

Piled atop of these were large dried flowers, some sewn on with lace and even real twigs and leaves. They were referred to as “Garden” hats. Real stuffed birds were still an issue. Ostriches were raised to provide the largest plumes.

Influenced by the entertainment world, the Merry Widow hat, named after a show of the same name, became all the rage around 1907. A an early Three Musketeers film had women clamoring for tricorn and bi-corn hats. Hat brims were turned up on the side at an angle.

Brightly colored turbans, adorned with brooches, took the center stage for evening headwear. As the second decade of the 20th century progressed, the crowns of hats were still higher but the brims shrank. Renaissance inspired velvet Tudor berets, smaller versions of picture hats, and straw boaters were all considered fashionable.

While higher class women went to the milliner to choose a hat, a middle-class woman might make her own. A ladies’ Home Journal article provided instructions for constructing a hat by twisting and sewing into place velvet ribbon artfully, but casually around a hat frame, which could be made from milliner’s wire. Flowers such as pansies, heliotropes, lilacs, roses, and even butterflies were suggested embellishments. Some Victorian magazines gave instructions for weaving your own straw hat for spring!

As ready-to-wear fashion items became more accessible, middle class women could enjoy fashionable hats at a price they could afford, as well. As the bell-shaped cloche hat appeared in the 1920s, for the most part the era of elegant daywear hats had passed.
Whether made from wool felt, silk, velvet or straw and embellished with lace, feathers, or flowers, women’s hats were feminine expressions of personalities and elegance well into the last century.

Note: The first five images were found at Karen's Whimsy and are in the public domain.

Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

History of Smuggling in the American San Juan Islands

History of Smuggling in the American
San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands, a remote island paradise in the Pacific Northwest seem serene but have a turbulent history.
Image by Janalyn Voigt (all rights reserved).

Mists often shroud the San Juan Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Washington state. Add to this an intricate network of waterways, hidden harbors, secluded coves, and an international border, and it's easy to see why smuggling became an important industry in the San Juan Islands.

Following the signing of the Treaty of Washington between the United States and Britain in 1871, the San Juan Islands became an American territory. Shortly thereafter, the United States imposed import duties on woolens, silks and other goods entering the San Juan Islands. Many local residents didn't take well to having to pay for something they'd long received for free, so they simply ignored the law.

In response to popular sentiment that the immigrants from China were robbing American nationals of jobs, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned Chinese workers from entering the United States for the next ten years. This gave rise to the smuggling of Chinese laborers to build railroads and work in the mines. Thousands of illegal immigrants were willing to pay $100 a head for transport from China.

Illustration, "Central Pacific Railroad–Chinese Laborers at Work." Public domain image.
Lawrence "Pirate" Kelly and Ben Ure, both notorious smugglers, operated from a base on Ben Ure Island just off Washington state's Deception Pass. Ure is said to have tied illegal Chinese immigrants into burlap bags, to be thrown overboard when customs agents approached. Dead Man's Bay off San Juan Island, came by its name because the tide often washed the bodies ashore at that location.

In 1890, high tariffs were placed on the importation of opium, which led to this drug becoming a profitable item for smugglers.And in 1919, the Volstead Act ushered in Prohibition, creating a market for bootlegged alcohol until 1933, when Prohibition was repealed and "rum running" ended. Cigars and wool were also smuggled to avoid tariffs and turn a profit.

Drug smuggling continues in the San Juan Islands, today. One of the most recent incidents occurred in August 2015, when a Coast Guard crew confiscated 24 kilograms of the drug, MDMA (known as ecstasy or molly), from a boat near San Juan Island in August 2015.

As long as there are taxes, laws, and a profit to be made from circumnavigating them, smuggling will go on, and the seclusion of the San Juan Islands makes them one of its favorite locations.

Deceptive Tide

When murder comes to a peaceful island paradise, what you don’t know could just kill you.

Piper Harrington, struggling to build a new life after her husband’s plane crash leaves her widowed, travels to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest to research a novel. She checks into a resort condominium near the Moran mansion on Orcas Island and soon encounters a wounded teenage girl who seems followed by trouble. Piper wants to help Lindy, but a series of unsettling events lead her to believe she has, herself, become the target of a stalker.

A spectral figure resembling the ghost said to haunt the historic mansion has her questioning her sanity. She has never felt more alone, even while two men vie for her attention. One has an air of charm, while mystery surrounds the other. Remaining heart-whole seems the only way to protect herself, but both become increasingly impossible.

About Janalyn Voigt

author Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt's unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and whimsy creates breathtaking fictional worlds for readers. Look for her upcoming romantic mystery and western historical fiction releases. This multi-faceted author also writes in the fantasy genre. Beginning with DawnSinger, Janalyn's epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, carries readers into a land only imagined in dreams.

Janalyn is represented by Wordserve Literary Agency. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA. When she's not writing, she loves to discover worlds of adventure in the great outdoors with her family.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Thin Blue Line: Lawton Police Department Pt 1

The Thin Blue Line
Wikimedia Commons,

By Alanna Radle Rodriguez and Judge Rodriguez

Hello Friends!

Thank you for joining us this month as we continue our series about first responders in our great state.

First allow us to say: we wish to pay our respects to the brave men and women of our military, and let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them, particularly those currently on deployment outside our country and away from their families.

However, we also wish to add our gratitude to those that serve outside of our military forces as well. Also called the Thin Blue Line, this group of dedicated public servants serve to keep us, our families, and our property safe. Our hats are off to you, and our gratitude for all you do.

Over the last few months, we have been delving into the history of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and of the various police departments here in this great state. This month, we look into the history of the Lawton, Oklahoma Police Department.

One would assume that the beginning of a law enforcement agency would begin with the town. However, in this case, that would be mildly incorrect. With the formation of Fort Sill on the eastern side of the Wichita Mountains, in 1869, there began a police force in the area. The U.S. Army Cavalry served as military and law enforcement for the at-times fractious Chiricahua Apache Native Americans in the area.

However, it was August 6th, 1901, that the land lottery in the Wichita mountain region, as well as the area that was surrounding Fort Reno,
 occurred. Within a day, the town of Lawton cropped up. With the formation of the town, it was decided they needed a police force, in particular due to the existence of Fort Sill so close.

They gathered their first police officers from former members of the detachment there at Fort Sill. Within one year, Lawton had become quite the boom-town. There were more than one hundred saloons, as gambling was still legal. The first Chief Of Police in Lawton was Heck Thomas, former U.S. Marshall for the Oklahoma Territory. Heck was recruited by the city to come in and calm things down in 1902. He was the one that was attributed with capturing Bill Doolin, of the Doolin-Dalton gang. Heck retained the position of Chief of Police for seven years, before health issues forced him into retirement.

It wasn’t until statehood that gambling became illegal in Lawton. Once the ordinances went into effect, however, the violence finally started to die down.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Lawton Police Department, and join us next month, as we wrap up the history of this great and historic institution, and its effects on our great state’s history.

Born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, Alanna Radle Rodriguez is the great-great granddaughter of one of the first pioneers to settle in Indian Territory. Judge was born and raised in Little Axe, Oklahoma, the son of A.F. Veterans. Judge and Alanna love the history of the state and relish in volunteering at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse in Edmond. Her first published story, part of a collaborative novella titled Legacy Letters, came out September 2016. Alanna and Judge live with her parents in the Edmond area. They are currently collaborating on a historical fiction series that takes place in pre-statehood Oklahoma.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Spies and Knitting

Do you like to knit? Do you have the nerve to knit in the middle of an enemy stronghold and work messages into your knitting to pass on to your country’s armed forces? That is what the women featured in today’s blog did during war time. I salute them for their bravery and determination. Let’s take a look at what they accomplished and how they alerted their forces using their needlework.

Knit/Purl Stitches by WillowW
Wikimedia Commons
First, keep in mind how knitting is done. There are two basic stitches. The knit stitch looks like a “v” and the purl stitch makes a small bump. Also, dropped stitches were used to make a hole. That means these patterns could have been read by feel in low light if needed. Plus, women were encouraged to knit and make items to help soldiers, so nothing was thought about a woman sitting in her window or in public with her knitting needles clicking away. Little did the opposition realize that she didn’t have to focus on her work, but could be watching and listening to later report conversations and movements. A perfect spy!

Phyllis Latour Doyle

Phyllis joined the RAF in 1941 after a friend was killed by Nazi soldiers. She planned to train to be an airplane mechanic but others noted her potential. Because her father was French, Phyllis grew up speaking fluent French and would be valuable as a spy behind lines. She agreed to become a spy and was trained by a cat burglar to do things like cross a roof top undetected.

At the end of her training, Phyllis parachuted into Normandy. She pretended to
1904 Picture of
Woman Knitting
be a teenager to throw off suspicion. She traveled by bicycle and chatted with German soldiers. She would then go someplace secret, bring out her knitting and use one of her 2,000 codes to send a message. She would hide the knitted message by winding the strip around a knitting needle and inserting it in a hair tie. Each time she used one of the codes she’d been given she would mark the code, so she wouldn’t use it again.

Phyllis had to keep on the move. She would send her message and then go quickly before the Germans could trace the source of the message. They did not catch her. She often had to sleep on the forest floor unless she found some Allied sympathizers. She ate what food she could find and was often hungry, but she always had her knitting and her silk thread she used for her patterns.

In 2014, Phyllis was awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration. She did not want to get this award but did it for her family. She was 93 at the time. Her family found out about her spy work in the late 1900’s when one of her sons read about her on the internet. She did not want to brag about the service she’d done for her country.

Madame Lavengle

WWI Ad for Knitting
By Marguerite Martyn
Wikimedia Commons
During WWI the Germans occupied her home putting her and her children at risk. Madame Lavengle did not quake in fear. Instead, she joined the resistance and used her knitting and her children to send coded messages right under the noses of the Germans in her home.

In an upper room, Lavengle sat at a window knitting. Every day she would sit there and knit. Such an innocent pastime, right? Meanwhile, she would tap her foot on the floor and her children below her would copy down the code she signaled with the tapping. The German Marshall in her home never suspected she was gathering and passing on information. Amazing.

Molly “Mom” Rinker

Molly Rinker owned a tavern during the Revolutionary War. She often had British soldiers in her town and in her tavern. She wanted to do something to help the Revolution, so she would go to the park and sit on a high hill or rock and knit. As she watched and listened, she would tie knots in her ball of yarn as a code. Then she would drop the yarn at a certain place for the Revolutionary soldiers to find. In this way, a woman in a lowly occupation, helped out her fledgling country. Thank you, Molly.

Binary Pattern by Kurt Pippen Fowler
Many people enjoy the art of knitting. With the onset of computer coding and languages, knitters learned to do patterns in binary language. When Morse code was invented, they used a variation of stitches to make the dot and dash for Morse code and sent messages that way. Knitting is so much more than making a pretty garment.

Do you knit? Do you do another type of needlework? Would you have been brave enough to be a spy? To be dropped behind enemy lines and send coded messages? Or to gather information right under the enemy’s noses? What a challenge and what amazing women.

Nancy J Farrier is an award-winning author who lives in Southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website:

Sunday, February 17, 2019

More than Fruits and Vegetables in Colorado’s Garden Park

It wasn’t gold in “them thar hills” that had university professors waging war near Cañon City, Colorado, in the late 1800s. Very little if any gold was found in the immediate area, but paleontologists battled over something they considered more valuable. Something that lay within the greenish-tinted sedimentary soil along ancient creek beds in the Garden Park area north of town.

The Marsh-Felch Quarry in Garden Park north of Canon City, CO.
Garden Park fossil discoveries of the 1870s and 1880s led to the famous “Bone Wars” between rival paleontologists, O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. Local rancher, Marshall P. Felch, spent years working and mapping the dig sites on behalf of Marsh for Yale University.

Early discoveries included the first complete skeleton of Allosaurus. The area continued to provide some of the most well-preserved Jurassic-period remains, and in 1886, Garden Park gave up its first magnificent stegosaurus skeleton.

However, long before professors sparred over the finds, local Ute tribes and early settlers had already come across the prehistoric bones. A few early merchandisers even sold fossils as souvenirs and oddities in curio shops.

I mention a curio shop in one of my three Cañon City historical novels, Romancing the Widow, set in 1888 during the height of the Bone Wars. Young widow Martha Stanton compares her life to the dusty fossil remains found in Garden Park, and even participates in some of the digs.

In the real world roughly fifty years later, another fossilized stegosaurus was discovered in 1937 by local high school teacher and Geology Club officer, Carl Kessler. That 23-foot long treasure stands today in Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science. Kessler’s find later inspired a student-driven campaign that resulted in the declaration of the stegosaurus as the Colorado State Fossil in 1982.
One of several education signage markers along the Marsh-Felch Quarry Trail.
Ten years later, that declaration was further solidified when the world’s most complete stegosaurus skeleton was excavated from the Garden Park area, skull included, and air-lifted via Chinook helicopter for further study and preservation.

Late-Jurassic fossils and flora from Garden Park are exhibited in major museums today such as those in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Explorations continue by such entities as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In 1972, the area was placed on the National Natural Landmark registry by the National Park Service.

Tourists can visit the real site where my fictional heroine, Martha, explored, today known as the Marsh-Felch Quarry. The quarry is located off Garden Park Road (Red Canyon Road) and can be accessed via a self-guided, well-marked, quarter-mile hiking trail with informative exhibits along the path.

Colorful bluffs and unusual land forms around Cañon City have harbored prehistoric secrets for thousands of years, some of which have been unearthed as late as the 21st Century. Skyline Drive west of town offers not only a breathtaking vista of the surrounding area, but dinosaur footprints of an Ankylosaurus embedded in the jutting rock, discovered in 2001.
Can you see the four Ankylosaurus footprints in this photo?

A few miles west of there, up U.S. Highway 50, visitors can enjoy a stop at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience with kid-friendly activities and spectacular exhibits.

Today, the Garden Park area provides livestock feed with pastures for grazing and hay fields for storing feed through the winter. In the late 1800s, fruits and vegetables grown in the park-like country above the fossil beds supplied food for the gold mining towns of Victor and Cripple Creek, roughly twenty miles up the road.

That road, however, changes names three times, from Garden Park, to Red Canyon, to Shelf Road. Adventurous types who continue driving north will discover that the final name was applied with good reason to the narrow, one-lane shelf that cuts into the gold country. Do not try it in a sports car or a vehicle pulling a trailer. Instead, drive west through Cañon City on U.S. Highway 50 until you reach Highway 9. It’s a longer, safer (and just as scenic) way to get to gold country!
Four Mile Creek in Garden Park during the fall.
All photographic images by the author.
For more on Colorado’s historic Garden Park area, visit Better yet, come see for yourself.

Young widow Martha Stanton returns to her parents’ parsonage in Cañon City, bereft of love and deprived of hope. As dry and lifeless as the fossils she once collected during the city’s infamous “bone wars,” she resigns herself to a dull existence—until she crosses paths with an old flame and a darkly mysterious stranger.
Colorado Ranger Haskell Jacobs is on a mission. And the flame-haired beauty in black who steps off the train isn’t what he’s looking for. Or is she? As drawn as he is to her fiery spirit, Haskell learns that she has connections to the horse thief he’s hunting. Entanglement with a preacher’s daughter is the last thing he needs—and the one thing he can’t avoid.

Bestselling author and winner of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction, Davalynn Spencer writes heart-tugging romance with a Western flair, both contemporary and historical. Connect with her at

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tinkers, Peddlers, Truck Farmers, and Traveling Salesmen

My family and my husband's family have a history of being peddlers and truck farmers. Both of my grandfathers sold produce out of their trucks in the summertime. Watermelons, peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, okra, whatever they could grow on their 40 acres in rural MS was fair game. They were called "truck farmers". On some days, they participated in the farmer's markets in neighboring towns, but mostly they went door-to-door and sold their produce.
Eric Sloane (1905-1985)

They had routes that they would service. And a lot of times they bartered for things. Sometimes things that didn't really seem like a good idea at the time. When I was a teenager, my grandfather showed me an old sword he had. He'd took it in trade off an old woman years and years earlier. He didn't have any need for the sword, but I suspect she needed the produce, but didn't have any money, so she offered what she had. 

Of course I was in awe of the fact that the sword might be from the Civil War, or some exotic place like Saudi Arabia. I was so enamored of the sword that my grandfather gave it to me instead of to one of my male cousins. It's just an old broken sword. It's not pretty and the grip and handle have been broken off, but maybe someday I'll find somebody who can tell me what time period it came from, or might even be able to repair it for me.

My father-in-law and his brothers went even farther afield when peddling. They were known to travel to the Mississippi Delta for a load of sweet potatoes, to Georgia for peaches, and down to south Mississippi for watermelons. Anything they thought they could sell, they'd take off and buy it, sometimes driving over 24 hours straight to make the trip. I think the secretly enjoyed the adventure.

Come to think of it, my stepfather and stepbrothers are still peddling, but I just never thought to call it that! They buy trailer loads of Georgia honey and sell it in California. They have a very loyal clientele, and they make 5-6 trips a year distributing honey all over the west.

But the most interesting stories my mother has told me is of her cousin, J. L. Jones. J. L. started out with a little country store on skids that he moved around when the notion struck him. If he thought business would be better at the crossroads close to Hudson Chapel Church of God, he sat up shop there.

A few months later, he might move three or four miles closer to the main road. Later, he'd move his little store on skids to a new spot. This mobile store was similar to the peddlers who rode all over the country selling everything from pots and pans, to sewing thread, to vanilla flavoring. The only difference was that J. L. was from the community and people knew him. Most were even kin to him. From those humble beginnings, J. L.'s business grew until he opened a very successful furniture store in Jackson, MS, the state capitol.

Traveling salesmen, tinkers, gypsies, and peddlers have a reputation of being shysters and crooks. The traveling salesman in most spaghetti westerns was portrayed as such and was often called a "drummer". (While researching this topic, I did a search for "peddlers" and "drummers", and one of the very first articles to pop up was by my college English professor, Mr. Ovid Vickers. Out of millions of pieces, I thought that was really cool. Check out Mr. Vickers piece titled, "Some Drummers Didn't Drum", printed in The Neshoba Democrat June 28, 2006.)

But the traveling salesman that my mother tells me about was welcome when he came down the long, lonely dead-end road she lived on. He brought thread, cloth, seeds, pots and pans, along with news. I suspect both of my grandfathers loved that aspect of truck peddling as much as they loved making the sale.

Regardless of the reputation of traveling salesmen, they were a major part of the fabric of America before motorized vehicles made traveling over a few miles a possibility without wasting the entire day.

Several years ago, I included a traveling salesman much like J. L. Jones in The Evergreen Bride (The 12 Brides of Christmas, Barbour Publishing) that came out in 2014. My fictional storeowner, Mr. Miller, owns Miller's Mercantile:

Sipsey couldn’t even be called a town unless you counted the church and the school, along with Mr. Miller’s store, and you couldn’t always count the store.  
The tiny mercantile consisted of two wagons butted end to end. The space was so tight, you just entered from one end and exited the other, and every nook and cranny was stuffed full of non-perishable foodstuffs, spices, sundry items, and a bit of cloth and thread. Mr. Miller moved his store to a new location whenever the mood struck him. 

So, there you go. The traveling salesman, handy-dandy resource for all your needs. Sure beats traveling ten--or even forty-- miles for a sewing needle or a tube of ointment, doesn't it?

Valentine's Day SALE!

Only ONE MORE DAY to grab a PRINT copy of The Promise of Breeze Hill for only $5.00! You'll have plenty of time to read it and The Road to Magnolia Glen before book #3 (The Crossing at Cypress Creek) releases in JUNE! Also, orders of $35 or more get free shipping. Click here to visit Tyndale's $5.00 Sale.

The Crossing at Cypress Creek

And, now, for what we've all been waiting for... cover reveal for The Crossing at Cypress Creek, coming June 2019. Isn't she a beaut?

The Crossing at Cypress Creek is available for pre-order, so go ahead and reserve your copy today. :)

Friday, February 15, 2019

MMMadness PARTY!

Welcome to  the Mid-Month Madness Party! We appreciate you coming by. We will be giving away 4 books so be sure to pay attention on how to enter. 

To enter to win you MUST leave a comment WITH your email and you MUST ask one or more of the authors a question you'd like to know about them, their writing, or their books. 

We are looking forward to getting to know you better and hope you'll get to know us better, too!


During the American Revolution in 1779, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love.
Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named.
When the couple meet, they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love?

The remarkable lives of twelve sisters who changed the course of history.
Historians paint pictures of amazing men and women who influenced the world, but seldom do we hear about sister duos that forever altered the course of history. Whether fighting together—or against each other—these twelve women set armies to flight, guarded homelands from invasion, transformed countries and religious systems, and begat nations. From mythical Athena and Artemis, to the English thrones of Mary & Elizabeth Tudor, the influence these women left behind is taken for granted. Join us on an inspirational journey through time as we explore the extraordinary lives of Sisters Who Changed History.
*Athena & Artemis (Ancient Greek Mythology)
*Rachel & Leah (Ancient Palestine)                                                                 
*Tru’ng Trac & Tru’ng Nhi (Vietnam)
*Mary & Anne Boleyn (England)
*Mary & Elizabeth Tudor (England)
*Angelina & Sarah Grimke (United States)


Dr. Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to adversity. She’s fought to be taken seriously since childhood, when her father began training her in the healing arts. Finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon, where she’s come to practice medicine under her brother’s watchful eye.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the peace treaty recently negotiated between his people and the Army. But a chance encounter with the female doctor ignites memories of his upbringing among the whites. Too intrigued to stay away, tension erupts with the soldiers, and Five Kills is injured.

As he recuperates under the tender care of the pretty healer, an unlikely bond forms. However, their fledgling love is put to the test when each realizes that a much greater danger awaits—a danger they are wholly unable to stop, and one which neither may survive.

Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

My novella in the collection isThe Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser
1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse 
Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

About your Hostesses

Elaine Marie Cooper has two E-books that just released: War’s Respite (Prequel novella) and Love’s Kindling.. Paperback version of Love’s Kindling will follow. These books are the first two novels in the Dawn of America Series set in Revolutionary War Connecticut. Cooper is the award-winning author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar. Her 2016 release (Saratoga Letters) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book Deer Run Saga and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can visit her website/ blog at

Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the Christian Indie Award in Historical Fiction twice. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.  
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 Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives.  A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser. 

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.