Friday, April 26, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral Part 1 and Giveaway!

by J. M. Hochstetler

Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, East Side
I’m sure that most of us have heard of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. It’s recently been in the news because of the destructive fire that started on the evening of April 15, 2019, while the cathedral was undergoing repairs to its roof. The building sustained serious damage, including the destruction of its wooden spire and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above its vaulted ceiling as well as some of the valuable relics it housed. Thankfully, however, preliminary reports are that many relics were saved and that the stone structure itself remains stable. Fund-raising efforts and plans for repairs are already underway.

Part of my June release, Refiner’s Fire, is set in Paris, so I thought I’d take a closer look at this iconic building and also offer a giveaway. We’re starting today with the history of the cathedral’s construction, and next month Part 2 will delve into some of the marvelous details and treasures Notre Dame contains.

Building a Medieval Cathedral

Nave of Notre Dame
Notre Dame means Our Lady, and the famous medieval cathedral is located in the center of Paris on the Île de la Cité, one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine River. An outstanding example of French Gothic architecture, it’s one of the most widely recognized structures in Paris. Around 12 million people visit annually making it the city’s most visited site.

It’s thought that a pre-Christian Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter originally occupied the site. It was succeeded by four earlier churches, and then in 1160 the Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, decided to build a cathedral in the new Gothic style. He had the Romanesque church on the site demolished and used its materials for his cathedral. Actual construction began between March 24 and April 25, 1163, with King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III present for the laying of the cornerstone.

North Rose Window
Building a medieval cathedral wasn’t a speedy or inexpensive process. It not only required a constant influx of money, but also massive amounts of materials, intensive labor, and highly skilled craftsmen, which becomes quite apparent when you look at the construction timeline. It was 1177 before the choir was completed, and the high altar wasn’t consecrated until 1182. The four sections of the nave behind the choir and its aisles up to the clerestories were finished in 1190, followed by the bases of the façade and the first traverses. The work was still in process when Heraclius of Caesarea called for the Third Crusade from the cathedral in 1185. At some point a decision was made to add transepts from the altar to bring in more light and to use four-part instead of six-part rib vaults to make the roofs stronger and allow for greater height. These were finally completed in 1208, with work still continuing on the nave. A large portion of the western façade was built by then, but it wasn’t complete until around the mid 1240s. And it took from 1225 to 1250 to construct the nave’s upper gallery, along with the two towers on the west façade.

Cross section of buttresses
by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
The cathedral remained a work in progress for a very long time, however. During this same period the transepts were remodeled in the latest Rayonnant style and a gabled portal was added to the north transept, with a spectacular rose window placed above it. That gave impetus to modifying the southern transept in a similar design, and both portals also received a rich embellishment of sculpture. The south portal features scenes from the lives of St Stephen and several local saints, while the north portal features Christ’s infancy and the story of Theophilus.

An important innovation in the 13th century was the use of a structure called a flying buttress. A series of these were built on the outside of the choir during this period as well. Before these were developed the entire weight of the roof pressed down and outward on the walls and the abutments that supported them. Flying buttress distributed the weight from the vault’s ribs evenly to a series of counter-supports topped with stone pinnacles outside the building to give them greater strength and stability. This allowed the walls to be built higher and thinner with larger windows so that the interior felt light and airy, like a vision of heaven. It isn’t known for certain whether the first flying buttresses were used before the 13th century, but detailed laser scans of the structure seem to indicate that the buttresses were part of the original 12th century design. The cathedral’s first buttresses were replaced by larger and stronger ones in the 14th century as additions and alterations continued.

Later Alterations

Many more alterations were made to the cathedral during the Renaissance, when the Gothic style lost popularity. The interior pillars and walls were covered with tapestries, then in 1548 some of the statues were damaged in riots by Huguenots, who considered them idolatrous. The 17th and 18th centuries brought many more changes during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV in line with the period’s more classical style. The sanctuary was rearranged and the choir largely rebuilt in marble. Many of the stained-glass windows that dated to the 12th and 13th centuries were taken out and replaced with white glass windows for more light. Can you imagine? What were they thinking? And in the second half of the 18th century, the spire was damaged by wind, so it was simply removed.

The Cult of Reason is celebrated at Notre-Dame
during the French Revolution, 1793
The worst damage happened during the French Revolution, however. The cathedral was desecrated and many of its religious relics and other treasures were defaced, destroyed, or stolen. In 1793 the building was dedicated to the Cult of Reason and later to the Cult of the Supreme Being. The Goddess of Liberty was installed on several altars in place of the Virgin Mary. Except for the statue of the Virgin on the cloister portal, all the large statues on its façade were destroyed. Twenty-eight statues of biblical kings at the west façade, believed to represent French kings, were beheaded. Happily many of these heads were found at a nearby excavation site in 1977 and can be seen at the Musée de Cluny. The building was eventually used as a warehouse for the storage of food and for other purposes.

Efforts at Restoration

The Cathedral at the Beginning of Restoration 1847
by Hippolyte Bayard
With the arrival of the new century, the cathedral’s situation finally began to improve. In July 1801 Napoleon Bonaparte signed an agreement to restore Notre Dame to the Roman Catholic Church, which formally took place in April 1802. Then on December 2, 1804, he and his wife Joséphine, were crowned emperor and empress of France there with Pope Pius VII officiating.

Much of Notre Dame remained in ruins, however, until 1831, when Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris, published in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, became such a success that it restored public interest in the cathedral. In 1844 King Louis Philippe started a movement to restore it. A large team of architects and craftsmen worked from historical drawings and engravings to replace the original decorations or, where these were missing, to add embellishments consistent with the original style. They also replaced the original spire with one that was taller and more ornate. This restoration took twenty five years.

Modern Renovations

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, West View
Over the centuries, air pollution caused the cathedral’s stone exterior to deteriorate and discolor. And August 1944, while Paris was being liberated during WWII, some of the medieval glass was damaged and replaced with glass in modern abstract designs. It was becoming obvious that the building needed serious repairs. Finally in 1963 in time for the cathedral’s 800th anniversary, the façade was cleaned of its accumulation of soot and grime and the stone restored to its original color. But deterioration continued, and by the late 1980s, some of the gargoyles and turrets had fallen off or were dangerously loose. So another renovation began in 1991, during which much of the exterior was replaced, with authentic architectural elements being retained. The cathedral’s pipe organ was also upgraded to a computerized system, and the west face was cleaned and restored in time for millennium celebrations in December 1999.

For the building’s 850th anniversary in 2013, the four 19th-century bells from the northern towers were melted down and recast in bronze to simulate the sound of the cathedral’s 17th century bells. But after more than eight centuries, the building was showing signs of deterioration consistent with its age, which led to the most recent renovation. A €6 million renovation of the spire began in late 2018, during which the copper statues on its roof and other decorative elements had to be temporarily removed. By luck or providence, that happened just days before the fire broke out.

With the release of Book 6 of my American Patriot Series, Refiner’s Fire, I’m giving away a copy of Daughter of Liberty, or any volume of the series if the winner already has it —except Refiner’s Fire, which I’ll be giving away in June after its release. If the winner has all the books in the series so far, I’m happy to offer a copy of either Northkill or The Return from the Northkill Amish series. To enter, please leave a comment on this post answering the question below before the end of the day.

Notre Dame is a work of art in and of itself. What features of the cathedral do you find the most impressive and/or beautiful?

Be sure to include your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. I’ll announce the winner first thing tomorrow morning.
J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history. She is also an author, editor, and publisher. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. Book 6, Refiner’s Fire, releases in April 2019. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series coauthored with Bob Hostetler, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 Indie Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, received the 2017 Interviews and Reviews Silver Award for Historical Fiction and was named one of Shelf Unbound’s 2018 Notable Indie Books. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and a finalist in the Carol Award.


1. Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris: East side.,_version_1.2

2.Nave of Notre-Dame de Paris, 22 June, 2014.,_version_1.2

3. North Rose Window. Photo by Julie Anne Workman. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

4. Cross-section of the double supporting arches and buttresses of the nave, drawn by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc as they would have appeared from 1220 to 1230. Public domain.

5. Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, West view, Paris, France.,_version_1.2

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sand Creek Massacre: Black Kettle and Left Hand (and a Giveaway)

Across the last several months, I’ve shared the history of The Sand Creek Massacre, as well as further details of some of the historical figures in my latest release—Sand Creek Serenade. Today, I’m sharing the last two historical figures—the Native American chiefs.

Black Kettle—Chief of the Southern Cheyenne
Chief Black Kettle

Around 1803, Black Kettle was born in the Black Hills of what is now South Dakota. He was originally from the Northern Cheyenne tribe but married into the Southern band where he rose to prominence. It is hard to know what his young life was like since Native American culture didn’t keep written records. It isn’t until the late 1840s or early 1850s when Black Kettle’s life was first chronicled.

In 1851, a peace treaty between the United States and eight Native American Indian tribes was signed. The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 guaranteed that the Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Sioux Nations would be given a large parcel of land, broken down into specific territories for each group, and they would receive a $50,000 annuity from the American government across the next 50 years. In return, the tribes would allow the government to build forts in their territory, allow settlers to travel the Oregon Trail unmolested, and other such arrangements. It also guaranteed peace between the eight tribes, as some were known to war between themselves.

Territory Map of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851
The treaty did its job for a short time, but by 1859, gold was discovered in the Pike’s Peak region of Colorado, and white settlers came in droves through the treaty lands in order to reach the newest goldfields. The gold seekers traipsed over Native American lands, they hunted the tribes’ game, they used their water, with no thought to the treaty or its promises. As you might expect, the tribes grew angry until finally, violence broke out. For a few years, the Indians raided settlements and wagon trains, and whites retaliated in kind. 

However, not all Indians sought violence. Black Kettle, by now a chief in the Southern Cheyenne band, had the foresight to see that nothing would stop the white man from coming, and the only hope of his people’s survival was to find ways to make peace. So came the Treaty of Fort Wise in 1861, which faltered quickly. He made his next move in 1864. Knowing that the Northern Cheyenne and some other bands of the Southern Cheyenne tribe had taken seven white captives, he approached Major Wynkoop at Fort Lyon with a proposal. He would broker the release of the white captives in exchange for further peace talks. If you’ve been following my series of blog posts these last several months, you know what happened. Wynkoop took Black Kettle and other chiefs to Denver to negotiate peace with the territorial governor and Colonel John Chivington. They were promised peace but told to camp along the banks of Sand Creek and wait for the army to come with final word of the peace agreement…and at dawn on November 29, 1864, the Army attacked a sleeping village who’d done nothing but hope for better times.

So what happened to Black Kettle in and after the massacre? During the massacre, he frantically called for his people to come to his tent and stand under the American flag and white flag in a show of surrender. The Army was not interested in their surrender that day, and very soon, everyone ran. Black Kettle and his wife raced for the river, but she was shot nine times in the attempt. Despite her injuries, both survived.

After the massacre, Black Kettle lost much respect among his people. He continued to advocate for peace, but other Cheyenne factions sought war. The militant parties got their wish. War erupted between the Cheyenne and whites. Black Kettle attempted to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty in 1867, but this again led to his people losing land and being forced to move to Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma), which only further angered them. Tiring of the raids and battles, the Army stepped in. On November 27, 1868, almost exactly four years after the Sand Creek Massacre, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s 7thCavalry attacked Black Kettle’s camp at dawn along the banks of the Washita River. This time, both Black Kettle and his wife were killed as they fled for safety.

Left Hand—Chief of the Arapaho Tribe

Chief Left Hand

Chief Niwot, or Left Hand, of the Southern Arapaho tribe, was born around 1825 near modern-day Boulder, Colorado. Just as the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush began in 1859, he and some of his fellow tribesmen came across one of the early settlers to the area. Left Hand greeted them in a friendly manner, but quickly told them to leave, that they were in traditional Arapaho lands. Stories vary on how that situation truly played out, but they all agree that tensions ran high for days between the two groups. However, one of the Arapaho shamans had a dream in which he saw a great flood cover the earth and sweep away the Arapaho people while the white men remained. Left Hand astutely interpreted the dream to mean that a flood of white men was coming and to survive it, the Arapaho must seek peace with them.

Left Hand sold out to peace then. He did all he could to learn English and other languages of the White Man. He went out of his way to greet the incoming settlers and extend friendship. And the settlers showed their appreciation with gifts, as well as naming counties and streets after the tribe.

But as we well know by now, that peace didn’t last. Just as with the Cheyenne tribe above, tensions grew. Communications degraded. Promises were broken. And in retaliation for the whites encroaching too much on their territory and way of life, the more warlike factions started raiding.

When Left Hand’s Cheyenne friend, Black Kettle, approached Major Wynkoop with the idea of peace, Left Hand was quick to agree that his people also wanted it. He participated in the peace talks in Denver and camped at Sand Creek when the army and the territorial governor said a treaty was coming.

When the massacre began on that fateful November morning, Left Hand raced from his lodge to see the attack in full swing. He was so set on peace that he would not lift a hand against the soldiers to defend himself or anyone else. Instead, he held his head high, sang his death song, and died at the hands of the Army who’d falsely promised peace…

It’s Your Turn: Both Black Kettle and Left Hand believed so strongly in peace with the White Man that they risked ridicule by their tribes and lost favor in the eyes of their people. In your opinion, were they visionaries seeing a future of peace with the incoming culture, or were they foolish for holding out for peace when they’d seen so many treaties break down already? Leave your email address along with your answer to be entered in a drawing for an autographed paperback copy of Sand Creek Serenade.

Jennifer Uhlarikdiscovered 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, Women Writing the West, and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

Now Available

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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Jesse James: It's In the DNA

I don’t know if this happens to other writers, but I’ve had some strange things happen during the writing of a book.  I once turned a manuscript into my editor at the same time another writer turned in hers.  Oddly, enough, our protagonists shared the same first names and professions.  There were also many other similarities throughout our manuscripts, and all had to be changed.
Another time I was hiking a trail in Mammoth when I met a geologist who was the spitting image of the geologist hero in the book I was working on.  Even weirder, his first name was Damian and I’d named my hero Damon. Close enough, right?
But the strangest thing that happened occurred recently. I’d been toying with the idea of taking a DNA Ancestry test for quite some time, so my daughter decided to gift me with one for Christmas.  The results were pretty much what I expected, with one surprise. It turns out that the outlaw Jesse James and I share a common ancestor.
The timing was especially weird since Jesse James played a major role in the book I had just completed. Come to think of it, it’s not the first time Jesse James had popped up in one of my books, and I can’t count how many blogs I’ve written about the outlaw.
That’s because Jesse is an interesting person to write about. He’s been the subject of many movies and books and that’s made it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Not only was he controversial, he had both a light and dark side.
The son of a Baptist minister, Jesse loved publicity and was known to pass out press releases to witnesses at his holdups. He had no qualms about exaggerating his exploits and even his height.  He might also be the only person on record to have taken his gang on his honeymoon. I don’t know what his bride did while and he and his gang robbed a stage.  Maybe she went shopping.
Though he lived for only thirty-four years, there was never a dull moment. Jesse James was a Confederate guerrilla, survived two bullets to the chest and once overdosed on morphine. He also claimed to have murdered seventeen people, though some think that’s also an exaggeration on his part.
He went by many aliases, but his nickname was Dingus because he shot off the tip of his finger while cleaning his pistol.  He wrote glowing articles about his gang, saying that they robbed the rich and gave to the poor, though all indications are that they kept the spoils to themselves.
Far as I know, he was also the first person to prove that housework can kill.  While tidying up his house, he was shot by his new hire Bob Ford in the back of the head.
I can’t tell you what it was about Jesse James that first caught my interest.  I can’t even tell you why this writer, who’s allergic to horses, writes Westerns.  All I can say, is that it must be in my DNA.
Have any of you had your DNA tested?  If so, were there any surprises that you’d be willing to share?

  "This book charms."-Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

TITANIC: Inescapable Catastrophe or Needless Tragedy


On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m., RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage.

On April 15, 1912 at 2:20 a.m., the unsinkable Titanic disappeared beneath the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

That was 107 years ago. Of all the shipwrecks and ocean disasters, there is something about the Titanic that tugs at people’s hearts. There is a mystery and—strangely—a romantic aura surrounding it.

In 2012, when I did research about the Titanic, I learned that there were several factors that contributed to this tragedy. If any one of them were changed, the unthinkable might not have happen or at least hundreds of more lives could have been saved. Here are those factors as I remember them.

1) It was a calm, moonless night. One would think calm seas would make travel safer. Titanic needed to cross a section the Atlantic known to have icebergs. A moonless night means that a black sky is reflecting on black water. Calm seas meant that no or very few waves lapped up against the base of the ice, which would have made them a little more detectible. They were virtually invisible. These kind of icebergs were known as black-bergs. They blended in perfectly with the night sky and dark waters.

2) If the lookout could have seen the iceberg even a few seconds earlier, it could have made a huge difference in warning the captain and engine room. The Titanic just might have been able to miss the iceberg or have hit it less severely.

3) Titanic reversed engines to slow and turned to try to avoid or lessen the collision. From what I understand, slowing lessened Titanic’s maneuverability. Some speculate if Titanic had held its speed or even sped up, it might have been able to turn sharper, reducing the impact. But we’ll never know, because no one can go back and have a do-over.

4) The lower bulkheads between compartments weren’t water tight. That’s 
to say, they didn’t seal at the top. So when water poured in and filled up the damaged compartment, the water spilled over into the next and the next and the next until Titanic was too heavy to stay afloat. If the compartments had been water tight, Titanic could have limped to safety.

5) The lifeboats have a two-fold tragedy. First, there weren’t enough for all the passengers and crew. They cluttered up the decks and made the ship less visually appealing. And second, when the first lifeboats were being loaded, a lot of people didn’t believe there was any real danger. Why would anyone want to get off a warm comfortable unsinkable luxury liner and be lowered in a cold, tiny lifeboat into the vast Atlantic Ocean? So the first few lifeboats launched with many seats vacant. A lifeboat that could carry over sixty people left with less than half its potential capacity. People just didn’t believe Titanic would sink. After all, it was advertised as “unsinkable.”

6) The radio operator on the SS Californian (a ship close enough to have rendered aid) had shut down the radio for the night, just ten minutes before Titanic struck the iceberg. So Titanic’s distress call didn’t reach them. Having the radio unmanned during the night was standard practice. It’s not anymore. Because of the Titanic tragedy, radios are now manned twenty-four hours. If the SS Californian had received the SOS, hundreds of more lives would have been saved.

If any one of these things had been different, fewer—if any—people would have perished.

From my backlist
Will trying to save her brother's life cost Brenna her own?

Brenna Kelly's brother has been accused of a murder he didn't commit and sentenced to die. Brenna follows the real murderer aboard the luxury liner Titanic to find the proof to save her brother from the gallows. Little does she know that her fate is as tenuous as her brother’s.
Cliffton Statham is charmed by Brenna and sets out to help her and win her affections. But his flimsy relationship with his uncle puts his future in jeopardy, and he must decide between Brenna and saving himself. Can Brenna find the proof she needs in time? Will love be a help or a hindrance?
Will the icy waters of the Atlantic be the end of them all?


MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over thirty titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in
A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups. Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at: Newsletter Blog FB FB Readers Group Amazon GoodReads BookBub

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Lighthouse Keeper Who Came Back from the Dead

Race Rock Lighthouse, NY,
Photo courtesy

By Marilyn Turk

Off the eastern end of Long Island Sound, you’ll find Fishers, Little Gull, Great Gull, and Plum–a string of islands. Many ships pass between the islands, but the deepest gap, called “The Race,” is just off the end of Fisher Island near a reef called Race Rock. The dangerous current that flows through the gap has been the doom of many vessels, especially before 1871, when the lighthouse built on the reef became active.

A stag station (men only), the lighthouse housed one keeper and two assistant keepers. The families of the married keepers lived on the mainland, and were visited when a keeper had leave to go home. Located eight miles off the coast from New Haven, Connecticut, going to and from the lighthouse was sometimes difficult for the keepers, depending on the tide. Waves can run in two directions where the water at the mouth of the Race meets the water of Fisher’s Island Sound. In bad weather, these waves can be quite large.

In April 1892, the new head keeper at Race Rock, twenty-four-year-old Christopher Culver, ran into those huge waves. After a brief shore leave to visit his family in New London, Culver set out to return to the lighthouse in a twelve-foot rowboat with a sail. Captain R.M. Jerome, a retired sea captain, watched Culver as he made his way out to the lighthouse. When Capt. Jerome saw Culver’s sail go down in the rough seas, he reported that the boat had capsized.
The ensuing search showed no trace of the keeper, and the newspaper reported his drowning.

In reality, Keeper Culver had abandoned his attempt to reach the lighthouse, lowered his sail, and rowed instead to Great Hay Harbor on Fishers Island where he found food and shelter at Mr. Oakley’s farm. Two days later, the keeper arrived back in New London aboard a steamship, and was reunited with his relieved and jubilant family.

At his sixty-ninth wedding anniversary, Culver recalled his premature death notice published sixty-four years before, thankful for the life he’d had since his “death.”

Keeper Culver didn't really die, he was just misplaced. 

At Easter, we celebrate the real resurrection of Jesus Christ, who really did die and really did come back from the dead, defeating death and sin simultaneously. We therefore have even more reason to be thankful for the life Christ has given us now and forever. 

Marilyn Turk
Historical fiction flavored with suspense and romance

 Marilyn Turk’s roots are in the coastal South. Calling herself a “literary archaeologist,” she loves to discover stories hidden in history. She is the author of two World War II novels, and the Coastal Lights Legacy series set in 1800s Florida—Rebel Light, Revealing Light, Redeeming Light, and Rekindled Light—featuring lighthouse settings. Marilyn’s novella, The Wrong Survivor, is in the Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection. She also writes for the Daily Guideposts Devotions book.

She lives in Florida, with her husband, 9-year-old grandson, and a 17-year-old cat. When not writing, Marilyn can be found playing tennis, gardening, walking, fishing, or kayaking. She and her husband have visited over 100 lighthouses so far, but the RV is ready to travel to go see more.

Website: @