A Most Contentious Election

In 1824 the United States faced a situation they hadn’t before – or since. No presidential candidate received a majority vote of the electoral college. This triggered the use of the 12th amendment which sets authority on the House of Representatives to choose the president from among the top three candidates from the electoral college.

On February 9, 1825, the U.S. House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams to be the sixth President of the United States.

The controversy was immediate. Andrew Jackson had received 99 electoral college votes and 153,544 popular votes. John Quincy Adams had received only 84 electoral college votes and 108,740 popular votes. (There were other candidates, but those did not receive anything close to these two.) In essence, the U.S. House of Representatives went against the will of the people and usurped the authority of the electoral college. Both of which it had the constitutional power to do.

It forever crippled the presidency of John Quincy Adams.

A large part of the controversy was that Adams appointed William Clay as his Secretary of State. Clay was the Speaker of the House but had been excluded from the House vote for president because he had also been a candidate for the office. Instead, he wielded his power to support Adams. Many saw this as a Quid Pro Quo move. (However, it should be remembered that Adams and Clay had served on the diplomatic team who presided over the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812. The men were a proven team who worked well together.)

John Quincy Adams – like his father, the 2nd president, John Adams – was staunchly anti-slavery. That didn’t help him with the pro-Jackson element in Congress. He wanted to fund a system of roads and canals to connect the growing nation, but the pro-Jackson people shot that down as exceeding the federal authority. In all, Adams accomplished very little in the four years he served that office. Pitted against Andrew Jackson again in 1828, he was soundly defeated.

But Adams didn’t quit service. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1830 by his home state of Massachusetts. He served there until his death – in the U.S. Capitol Building – in 1848.

Pegg Thomas – Writing History with a Touch of Humor

Managing Editor for Smitten Historical Romance, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Find Pegg on Facebook and Amazon

  

Book Review: As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

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As Bright as Heaven

Susan Meissner

Berkley (February 6, 2018)

From Amazon:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

 

My review:

I am a fan of Susan Meissner’s books. This story did not disappoint. I found it totally engaging and enjoyed the different points of view. I thought Meissner did a wonderful job writing from the perspective of a child, while also telling the story in the words of the mother and the other daughters. It was heartbreaking to read about how people had to deal with the disease while still trying to carry on. The topic of death is difficult to ponder in any book, but especially difficult to deliver in a work of historical fiction (where we know what happens: there will be tragedies for the characters to deal with.) But with skill the author tells a tender story that ends with hope. I really enjoyed this book and thank the author and publisher for sending me an ARC to give my honest review. Highly recommended.

Cindy Thomson is the author of eight books. Pages of Ireland is the sequel to her popular novel Brigid of Ireland. She is also the author of the Ellis Series, and writes for genealogy magazines. The past is her passion as she writes from her home in Ohio. Visit her at www.cindyswriting.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cindyswriting and on Twitter: @cindyswriting.

Meet Jochebed, Mother of Moses

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Novel PASTimes: Thank you for joining us today.  Would you begin by telling us how to pronounce your name?

JOCHEBED:  My people pronounce it yo-KEHV-edh although many people say jok-uh-bed.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a preference?

JOCHEBED: Not as long as it is said with kindness.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about yourself.

JOCHEBED: I’m an ordinary Hebrew slave. Why are we doing this interview? Am I in trouble with the overseers? Are you a spy? Will my words be reported to Pharaoh? My back is already scarred from the times I haven’t made my weaving quota.

Novel PASTimes: You are in no danger, but you are not ‘ordinary’. You are considered a remarkable woman.

JOCHEBED: I can’t imagine why. I’m just a basket weaver although my mother taught me the secrets to perfect waterproofing.

Novel PASTimes: And…

JOCHEBED: And I’m a mother—three children though only two know me. My youngest boy, Moses, has lived at Pharaoh’s palace since he was weaned. I-I never see him except from afar but I’m grateful he lives. When he was still with me, I’d whisper the stories and songs of our G-d into his little ears and pray he’d remember them someday.

Miriam, my oldest, gives me grey hair with her daring ways, but have you heard her sing? Her voice brightens even the days of misery and my boy Aaron could persuade the Nile to flow backwards. He has such a way with words!

Novel PASTimes: Who is your role model?

JOCHEBED: My mother. Always my mother. Still—though she lies buried beneath the sands.  Her words and her faith taught me how to trust G-d and how to listen for His voice. I try to teach that to my children.

Novel PASTimes: The story of your life—would you call it a tragedy or a mystery or what?

JOCHEBED: Sometimes it was a comedy, like when the goat ate my quota and sometimes it was a tragedy, but I think overall I’d call it a story of victory.

Novel PASTimes: Really? How?

JOCHEBED: Victory against fear. Victory over prejudice. Victory in spite of doubt.

Does that sound like I’m taunting Pharaoh?

Novel PASTimes: Not at all. I assure you the pharaoh will never know what you share here.  Jochebed—did I say that correctly? What do you think about when you’re alone?

JOCHEBED:  In a slave village, that doesn’t often happen. Hmmm. I think of seasons—how the seasons of the year change what we do and eat and fear. The seasons of life change people—who and what’s important to them and how they treat others.

Novel PASTimes: Change. What would you change about your life?

JOCHEBED: Everything. Nothing.

Novel PASTimes: Excuse me?

JOCHEBED: Like I tell my children, if you change one thing, everything else changes. Life would have been easier if I was not a slave, my husband not sent away, and my son’s life not endangered. But! I would not trade the knowledge that the Almighty, the G-d of my fathers heard me, a simple slave! He heard my prayer and saved Moses’ life. I am blessed among women.

Novel PASTimes: The book’s title is Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope. What is your hope?

JOCHEBED: I’m in a book? Is that like a scroll?

Novel PASTimes: Please, Jochebed?

JOCHEBED: My hope is that my prayers as a mother and the stories of our people’s faith will be woven like slender reeds—strong reeds—through the lives of my children—even Moses—and bind them to the Almighty.

About Author Texie Susan Gregory:

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Studying why people act and respond the way they do fascinates me. I hold a master’s degree in School Counseling and a Master of Religious Education.

North Carolina born and bred, I currently live in Maryland with my husband, a PTSD therapist. Our two adult children live on opposite coasts—one near Boston and one near Los Angeles. I’m thankful they are on the same continent!

Jochebed and I would love to hear from you.

www.texiesusangregory.com

Facebook Texie Susan Gregory

If you’d like to read more of Jochebed’s story, please visit your local bookstore or

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope Amazon Books

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope Barnes & Noble Books

Interview with Duncan McKnapp from With This Peace

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We’re so happy to have Duncan McKnapp take a break from his travels of wild Florida to visit with Novel PASTimes.

Novel PASTimes: Duncan, welcome to Novel PASTimes! Can you tell me where you come from and where you live now?

 Duncan: Thank you for letting me be part of Novel PASTimes! I never thought anyone would be interested in anything I have to say. My brothers always thought I was beyond help. Ha! Well … where did I come from? I was born in the rolling mountains above Dahlonega, Georgia. The place is called, Beckler’s Cove. It sure is beautiful there. I miss it. Right now, I call central Florida my home. Kinda wish I didn’t claim this swamp as a home. Seems like I’m either sweating, swatting bugs, tripping over alligators, or tramping through snake-filled, warm water.

 Novel PASTimes: I don’t think that sounds like much fun!

I heard you father passed away. I’m so sorry for your loss. How are you coping with your grief right now?

 Duncan: Yeah, he passed on to his reward. He was a good man. How am I coping with his death? Not very good for a tough woodsman. Staying in the swamps or hiding in the woods, refraining from contact with other humans is how I can heal. When he died, I barely made it home in time to be at his mountain funeral. There was so much I should have said to him, while I had the chance—in earlier years. I guess I was always at odds with my father. But I loved him. Loved and respected him. Know what I mean?

 Novel PASTimes: Which of your Dahlonega, Georgia brothers is your favorite and why?

Duncan: Ahh, I don’t have a favorite! That wouldn’t be nice! Jim always kept me “in line”. He could be tough. Samuel had a gentle spirit about him. Phillip was too young for me to connect with. I guess Jim would be my favorite, that’s because we were closest in age, and he sure could make me feel remorse for my sins. I miss Jim. I can’t sit and talk with him, no more. But I feel his presence with me in the woods, and I hear his chiding when I do stupid things.

 Novel PASTimes: I hear you are friends with Ella Dessa. Are you sweet on her? Or are you interested in another girl?

Duncan:  When I was too young to be smart, I was in love with a girl named Fern—like the feathery, green plant you’d find in the mountains. I wanted to be with her all the time. I hurt her. Messed it up. I didn’t open my mouth and say the words, “I love you!” Ella Dessa is a sweetheart. I don’t think any man alive wouldn’t fall in love with her. She makes a man long to have a wife just like her. She has a soul of gold. But I always knew she wasn’t for me, but I once tried to catch her attention.

Novel PASTimes: What made you decide to leave the farm?

Duncan: Ahh, I hated farm work. Who wants to milk cows all their life? I like being a free man. I like beautiful women and exploring new land. Florida has always pulled at my heartstrings … if there’s such a thing in me. I’m amazed at the white beaches and rolling waves on the shores. I like the natives. I like warm weather, and I don’t mind huge alligators. They make a man watch where he steps or wades, but keeps a man on his toes. You see, I tend to go barefooted a lot. And by living in Florida, not many people are goin’ to go searching for me. It’s too wet, too hot, too muggy, too wild, and too dangerous. I can let my wooly, red hair grow long, and no woman demands I cut it off.

 Novel PASTimes: You sound very independent, but despite that, do you still miss your family? Why or why not?

 Duncan: Let’s keep this question to ourselves. Yes, I miss them more than ever, as the years roll on. Miss my mother the most. She held our family together. I miss my father, because he taught us boys how to be a good man—even though I didn’t follow his teachings all that well. I miss my brothers and my sisters, because I counted on them to keep me straight. They were the homemade glue that cemented me to my past and who I was supposed to become. But a man makes his own way in life. Sometimes he lets go of the things most important … like family.

 Novel PASTimes: What would you like to do for the rest of your life? Do you have any goals?

 Duncan: Goals … hmm. Most people who know me would say, “He ain’t got no goals. Duncan has left the good life behind. He’s left the mountains, left his home, and chased away the love of his life.” But they don’t know the future. There’s one young woman I’m going to track down. I need to ask her forgiveness for something in the past. And … I’ll let you know one thing. This thing I tell you is between you and me … not for the world to know. I think I know where that one young woman ran off to. In the future, I may see if I can find her. I need to see how her life has turned out. And if there are second chances in this world, I just might change my ways, in order to let her know how much I’ve always loved her.

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Karen Campbell Prough’s love of the 1900’s fuels her stories of a bygone era. She is the author of short stories as well as a series of three books,
which include: The Girl Called Ella Dessa, Within the Candle’s Glow, and With This Peace. She and her husband live in Florida, near the beautiful Peace River–
the setting for With This Peace.

William Seward, Secretary of State

Known for his purchase of Alaska, an unpopular event in its time, William Seward was also a major player behind the scenes during the Civil War.

Thought to be the leading contender for the presidency in 1860, his anti-slavery speeches caused many in his party to view him as a radical, and so they backed his competition, Abraham Lincoln.

It seems surprising in this day and age of political infighting that President Lincoln would appoint his rival to be Secretary of State, but he did on January 10, 1861.

Like so many of Lincoln’s unconventional moves, this one proved beneficial to the Union. The relationship between Lincoln and Seward was never warm, but they worked well together. The move Lincoln does an excellent job of portraying their relationship and is worth watching for that alone.

The big-picture complexity of the Civil War and the balance of powers internationally is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the history books, but Seward was a bulwark in the administration who helped keep foreign powers out of our internal struggles. The outcome of the war could have been much different without him at Secretary of State.

If you enjoy reading Civil War historical fiction, Smitten Historical Romance has A Rebel in My House by Sandra Merville Hart and The Planter’s Daughter by Michelle Shocklee. And look for Michelle’s post Civil War-era novel, The Widow of Rose Hill, releasing in February!

Pegg Thomas – Writing History with a Touch of Humor

Managing Editor for Smitten Historical Romance, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Find Pegg on Facebook and Amazon

  

Interview With Lady Deborah Almonbury, The New Viscountess Braybridge

Viscounts Wife EbookNovel PASTimes: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Debbey: I would love to go horseback riding. I’m quite good at it, growing up in the American frontier.

Novel PASTimes: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

Debbey: Oh, my, I suppose they think I’m bubbly and nice. Or at least when I was at home in West Linn. Probably now that I am in England, I feel out of place so I’m quiet.

Novel PASTimes: What’s your idea of a good marriage?

Debbey: Two people who love each other and love God.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most proud of about your life?

Debbey: I’m proud of my relationship with God and how I treat others.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most ashamed of in your life?

Debbey: That I didn’t trust Lucy when I first met her. I judged her and didn’t think she was good enough for my brother.

Novel PASTimes: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done?

Debbey: Have children.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about your best friend.

Debbey: My best friend is Amelie Leclaire back in West Linn, Oregon. I had to leave her behind when my husband’s father and brother got sick and we had to travel to England to help with the family affairs. I miss her dearly.

Novel PASTimes: What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Debbey: She was a good and kind wife, mother, and friend.

Novel PASTimes: Describe your ideal mate.

Debbey: Have you met Lord William Almonbury, the new Viscount Braybridge? *She giggles* I’m still not use to calling my husband that. He’s tall, blond hair, blue-eyed, funny and a strong Christian. I adore him.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most afraid of?

Debbey: William thinking I can’t fit into his world.

 

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Jenna Brandt is a Christian historical fiction author and her books span from theVictorian to Western to WWI eras with elements of romance, suspense and faith. Her debut book, The English Proposal, released in May 2017 and it is the first book in her series, The Window to the Heart Saga. She has 6 other books in the series, the newest book in the series, The Viscount’s Wife, is releasing on January 29th, 2018. She also has a WWI trilogy in the FSC kindle world.

She has been an avid reader since she could hold a book and started writing stories almost as early. She has been published in several newspapers as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English from Bethany College and was the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper while there. She’s an on-going contributor for The Mighty Website and her first blog was published on Yahoo Parenting and The Grief Toolbox as well as featured on the ABC News and Good Morning America websites.

Writing is her passion, but she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading, engaging in social media and spending time with her three young daughters and husband where they live in the Central Valley of California. She is also active in her local church where she volunteers on their first impressions team as well as writes for the church’s creative team.

She is offering the first two chapters of each of her books along with the short story, The White Wedding, for free on Wattpad.

To find out more about Jenna, to sign-up for her newsletter, or to purchase her books, visit her website at http://www.jennabrandt.com

Her street team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/273698996371454/

Her books on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Brandt/e/B0711MSFXW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1497269877&sr=8-1

Like her on Facebook www.facebook.com/JennaBrandtAuthor

Follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/JennaDBrandt

Stalk her on Instagram www.instagram.com/jennnathewriter/

Pin her on Pinterest www.pinterest.com/jennnathewriter

Look her up on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16847426.Jenna_Brandt

WWI – Battle of the Falkland Islands

World War I has become a popular era for historical fiction novels. Smitten Historical Romance has one releasing in June titled Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski. Watch for it!

WWI – The Great War – saw many changes in the way wars were fought with the introduction of airplanes, submarines, and the use of underwater mines. But on December 8, 1914, in the waters around the Falkland Islands off the tip of South America, the last old-fashioned naval battle was waged.

The Germans, fresh off an unexpected naval victory off the coast of Chile where the British fleet received its first defeat in more than a century, approached the Falkland Islands intent on destroying the radio tower there to knock out Brittian’s communication in the South Atlantic.

What they didn’t know was that British reinforcements had arrived before them, re-coaled their ships, and were ready for battle. Instead of a few large, slow British Dreadnoughts, the Germans faced the HMS Inflexible and HMS Invincible,  two swift battlecruisers.

In this final naval battle of just ship against ship, sailor against sailor, the Germans lost four warships and 2,000 sailors. The British lost only 10 sailors and saved their radio communication capability.

Pegg Thomas – Writing History with a Touch of Humor

Managing Editor for Smitten Historical Romance, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Find Pegg on Facebook and Amazon

  

Interview with Kate Issacs from A Purpose True

APT squareNovel PASTimes: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Kate: I would read the day away, preferably with my best friend Addie to discuss what we learned. We love having philosophical talks about the meaning of things.

Now that I’ve spent time on Domingo’s idyllic family homestead, if I couldn’t have Addie for company, I’d enjoy being with the sheep out in the pasture, and with le Chien, the dog.

Novel PASTimes: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

Kate: Hmm…they probably think I’m flighty. But they have no idea how thoroughly I think things through—then when it comes time to act, I’m pretty decisive.

Novel PASTimes: What’s your idea of a good marriage?

Kate: Being friends before you become romantically involved, so you really know each other well from the outset. To be honest, Alexandre and I never really spent much time together, even after we were married. Our love stayed strong when he deployed with the RAF, but we had not lived together even a year. I think our marriage would have lasted, but sometimes think we might have had a stronger foundation.

Traipsing all over the mountains together, sweating together, and experiencing the same very real dangers created a bond between Domingo and me. He’d seen me in rag-tag clothes and unkempt hair, exhausted and fearful. I knew what he was like—really like—when he feared for his mother and brother’s life.

So I’d say being REAL together is vital, and going through some rough times before you say “I do.”

Novel PASTimes: What are you most proud of about your life?

Kate: I gleaned from others, like my Aunt Alvina and Mrs. Tenney and Domingo’s mother, what it meant to have a home. But it’s another thing to make a home for your own family.

Since I grew up as an only child with just my Aunt, I wanted to become the best wife and mother possible, but lacked role models. Still, the way things have turned out, I think I did fairly well with out three children.

Novel PASTimes: What do you believe about God?

Kate: I could go on and on. Through thick and then, I’ve experienced God watching over me. I’ve done some stupid things in my time, and still enjoyed safety and protection. Then when the war took me to Southern France, my trust grew through facing a whole lot more danger from the Gestapo, and from random people who might be connected with them.

It was hard to know whom to trust, and I felt very alone at times. But I can’t believe meeting Domingo was a coincidence, nor was spending so much time with his parish priest. Even though I experienced betrayal, the kindness of many strangers nurtured me through my clandestine work—I see this all as the hand of God upon my life.

I made some deep friendships during the war—and even discovered someone I wanted to marry. For some time after Alexandre’s death, I thought I’d never want that again, but getting to know Domingo changed my perspective. For this, I’ll always give credit to our Creator.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life?

Kate: That would be becoming an orphan when I was very young. This circumstance left me with never-ending questions about my moorings. Often I feel adrift and restless, and wonder what it would be like to have a real home, with a nuclear family you’d always interacted with, parents there every time you needed them.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about your best friend.

Kate: Addie is the purest soul I’ve ever known. She’s true to her word, loyal to a fault, and humble—sometimes too humble. By that I mean she puts others before herself, even when she ends up getting hurt. I’ve always encouraged her to stand up for herself and believe she deserves the best treatment.
In this final book of the series, readers discover a brighter phase of Addie’s life, after all she went through with her husband Harold. I was so glad to hear about her relationship with Charles when I returned to London—nothing makes me happier than to know she was enjoying life.
Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

Kate: Oh, this is easy. When I was young and in love with Alexandre, an exciting Canadian who came to Iowa to visit us, I eventually eloped with him. At the time, it seemed so right, of course! We really were in love, and both knew the war would tear us apart soon enough.

But I have yet to forgive myself for how much that action must have hurt my dear aunt Alvina, who had provided a wonderful home for me after my parents were killed. She’d put up with a lot from my independent nature, already.

But to make matters worse, I also skipped out on my high school graduation. I can’t imagine how disappointed she must’ve been when she realized I had left town. She’d have worried, and then, when she found my note, I picture her dropping on my bed and wiping away tears. Why, when she’d offered to send me to college, would I do such an impetuous thing?

Novel PASTimes: What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Kate: During World War II, we talked about “doing our bit” for the war effort. She Did Her Bit would work just fine. But in a broader sense I might rather have my tombstone say, “Forgiven.” What a powerful word! My treks through the wild back country of

Southern France taught me a lot about what it means to be forgiven—and to forgive.

When Eugene, the radio operator of the first circuit I worked with, betrayed us all to the Gestapo, I don’t think forgiveness came to anybody’s mind. Who knows how many suffered—even died—because of his treachery? You can imagine that as the years have passed, I’ve never forgotten him, and often wondered if he understood the amount of pain he caused.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most afraid of?

Kate: I’m afraid of disappointing people. When I say I’ll do something, I want to keep my word to the last letter. I don’t want to have it said that my link in the chain is the weakest one.

emailGail_3185 1When Gail Kittleson’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

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Purchase link on Amazon

 

Interview with Ness of the Catuvellauni

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Novel PASTimes: Ness, tell us about your people, the Catuvellauni. I’ve never heard of them!

Ness: The Catuvellauni are a Celtic tribe in Britannia. The Romans conquered us decades ago. We are farmers not warriors now. For the most part, we live at peace with the Romans, but Britannia’s new legate, Vocula, is an overweening tyrant. He raised taxes again. My village is suffering.

 Novel PASTimes: How did you meet the Tribune Aquilus?

Ness: I didn’t really. He was just there. It all happened so quickly. Must we speak about this? I used up every last ligula of patience I have with him months ago. Ecce the man could make Zeno, father of stoicism, lose all stoic calm. Also, if I ever meet Zeno, I’d like to ring the man’s neck.

Oh, you’ve never heard about stoicism. Let me explain the Stoic philosophy. Let’s say you’re in a difficult situation, perhaps your horse fell in a ditch, or you left your wife for months on end without so much as writing a letter, or you made a life-altering decision about your son without even asking your wife’s opinion. Stoicism prompts a person to think, what would a normal, empathetic human being do in this situation? Very well, let’s make sure we never do that. Can I just paint on some wode and scream like a berserker right now? If you haven’t guessed, Aquilus is a stoic.

Novel PASTimes: What made you decide to marry him?

Ness: Not my finest moment. How about we talk about my horse, such a beautiful creature, or the sheep farm I’m planning, or really anything in the empire besides why I married that man. Have I no wits?

 Novel PASTimes: Can you tell us about where you and Aquilus live?

Ness: People mill everywhere, bumping against each other, sending up a stench, helping the Italian sun overheat the capital of the known world, Rome. The people here are spiteful. The women hate me. They pass judgment on me because I’m a Celt and label me as a savage barbarian. I miss Britannia. I miss my sister and my best friend.

 Novel PASTimes: How is marriage to a man from a different people, with different values going for you?

Ness: I’m getting a divorce. Does that answer your questioon? 

Novel PASTimes: So, ah, not going so well. Do you love Aquilus? What do you think your marriage holds in store? Is there any hope?

Ness: I thought I did, I mean . . . I’m starting to cry now. I never do this. I don’t cry. It’s like he doesn’t even care I exist. Why doesn’t he care? I had so many dreams for him and me. It was all supposed to be, well, different. Does that make sense?

I mean, who on their wedding day plans for divorce? I tried very hard to make things work. He hates me. In truth, he does. Nothing I ever do pleases him and he’s obsessed with the glory of Rome.

If he does hate me though, then why doesn’t the stulte man just sign the divorce papers I’ve been thrusting at him? He refuses to. In Rome with confereatio usus marriage, the husband has to give the wife permission to divorce him. That’s the most woman-hating law I know. Celts do things much differently, I’ll have you know. Anyway, Aquilus refuses to sign the divorce papers and I cannot comprehend why.

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Why won’t he? Could he still love me?

I’m done contorting my wits over this. Self-reflection is not my strong point. I don’t know why you’d want to read my story really. It’s a catastrophe, maybe I’m a catastrophe too. Personally, though I think it’s probably Aquilus who is the most a catastrophe. Or, I don’t know, just read my story if you care to. Romance novels always have a happy ending, they say, but I don’t see how that could possibly work out in my story. Maybe if I marry Cedric.

Novel PASTimes: Hmm . . . I guess we’ll leave it there, Ness. Thanks for taking the time for the interview with us.

 Bio: Anne Garboczi Evans is a military spouse, mental health counselor, and mama to an opinionated little boy named “Joe-Joe” and a very dramatic baby named “Chip.”
Connect with Anne on:

Interview with Adam from Love’s Mending Embrace

Love's mending embrace final finalNovel PASTimes: If you were sent to a deserted island what three things would you take?

Adam: My Bible, a pocket knife, and a letter from Karen.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a hidden talent?

Adam: I’m great at blending in and getting people to trust me. I guess it comes with the territory, being a former spy.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a habit you wish you could break?

Adam: Not trusting people. Because of my training, I tend to always suspect people have hidden motives for their actions.

Novel PASTimes: What features do you like the most about yourself?

Adam: I’m loyal and I’ll do whatever it takes to protect the people I love.

Novel PASTimes: What feature do you dislike the most about yourself?

Adam: *averts his eyes* I wish I could change my choices when I was young. I let people manipulate me into doing their bidding even though I should have objected to what they wanted me to do.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a hobby?

Adam: I like to work with my hands. I built an entire farmhouse for Karen and I to live in once we were married.

Novel PASTimes: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Adam: I hate when people get involved in a situation which is none of their business.

Novel PASTimes: What is your favorite food?

Adam: I’m partial to anything Karen cooks or bakes. *a giant grin forms on his mouth* I especially love her “Apple Brown Betty.”

Novel PASTimes: Tell me something no one else knows about you?

Adam: I was a spy and was trained to infiltrate and deceive. I hurt a lot of people in the line of duty and I wish I could take it back. I try to make up for what I did every day by being a good person and helping others in Sweet Grove.

Novel PASTimes: If I asked you to write an entry in your journal what would it be about?

Adam: I’ve been trained not to write anything down. I keep everything up here. *taps the side of head* 

Novel PASTimes: What is your idea of a perfect day?

Adam: I love picnicking with the Webber Family in the surrounding meadows in Sweet Grove.

Jenna Brandt’s website: www.jennabrandt.com

Her books on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Brandt/e/B0711MSFXW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1497269877&sr=8-1

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Jenna Brandt is a Christian historical fiction author and her books span from the Victorian to Western to WWI eras with elements of romance, suspense and faith. Her debut book, The English Proposal, released in May 2017 and it is the first book in her series, The Window to the Heart Saga. Book 2, The French Encounter released in June 2017, the third in the series, The American Conquest, released in July 2017, the fourth book, The Oregon Pursuit, released in October 2017 and her novella, The Christmas Bride, from the same series, is set to release in the Christmas anthology, Under the Mistletoe.

She has been an avid reader since she could hold a book and started writing stories almost as early. She has been published in several newspapers as well as edited for multiple papers. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English from Bethany College and was the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper while there. She’s an on-going contributor for The Mighty Website and her first blog was published on Yahoo Parenting and The Grief Toolbox as well as featured on the ABC News and Good Morning America websites.

Writing is her passion, but she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading, engaging in social media and spending time with her three young daughters and husband where they live in the Central Valley of California. She is also active in her local church where she volunteers on their first impressions team as well as writes for the church’s creative team.