Friday, January 5, 2018

The Lacemaker

Every once is a while, you find a book that draws you into the time, place, and characters in such a way that you are completely consumed by the book until you are finished, then after you lay the book down for the last time your thoughts and feelings continue to linger with it for days after.  This is what I experienced while reading Laura Frantz's new novel The Lacemaker.  Words can not describe how much I love this book.  The plot is compelling, the characters are memorable and the research and accuracy that went into the story by the author really shines through.  Too often have I tossed away an historical fiction novel in absolute disgust because the author had not done his or her homework.  The Lacemaker made me feel as if I was walking the streets of 18th-century Williamsburg, VA with them.

The novel opens with Lady Elisabeth Lawson preparing to marry Miles Roth, a gentleman of breeding, quality and money.  That Elisabeth is not in love with her intended is of little consequence as the daughter of the lieutenant governor of the Virginia colony has had little experience with love.  While Elisabeth prepares for her wedding and socializes with the family of the royal governor all is not well in the Virginia colony.  The thirteen colonies are on the brink of revolution and Virginia's royal governor has done nothing to put out the fire brewing in his colony.  In the midst of brewing tension, Elisabeth meets Noble Rynallt, a distant cousin of her fiance and a powerful leader in the Patriot movement.  With the house of cards of British rule crashing down around her, Elisabeth turns to Noble for assistance.  The Revolution for Elisabeth becomes deeply personal as she takes the spirit of the times to heart and breaks away from her tyrannical father in the process finding her voice and the home and love that she never had.

The Lacemaker is a lush historical romance.  The novel is a Christian romance, so the characters frequently pray and talk about their personal relationship with God.  Which is accurate for the time period as evidenced by reading primary sources.  Also as the two main characters fall in love there is a lot of internal dialogue about their feelings for the other and if the other character feels the same.  The romance is clean, with hand holding and some kissing.  When the characters finally consummate their relationship during their honeymoon the action is not described.

Laura Frantz must be commended for doing an amazing job with this novel.  Not only does she write a compelling story but she has clearly thoroughly researched 18th-century Virginia history and culture.  Anyone familiar with Colonial Williamsburg and the people and places of colonial Virginia will recognize many of the minor characters and locations.  It was fun for me to go through the book
catching all the historical characters, businesses and plantations featured in The Lacemaker.  Laura Frantz really wears her research lightly and employs her skill much as Elisabeth Lawson weaved her lace in light, frothy folds dazzlingly the beholder.

To learn more about Laura Frantz and The Lacemaker visit her website.
The Lacemaker is available in print and Kindle on Amazon.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Titles

2017 was a busy year for me, as I published two books and was featured in a new anthology of true ghost stories.

In December I published my biography of Mary Ball Washington.  I am very proud of this book and it was the result of three years of research.  The book is available currently at the Mary Washington House in Fredericksburg, VA and on Amazon.

In October I published a forgotten classic on American manners during the Civil War era.  With a new introduction and editorial notes Manners during the Civil War was adapted from American Etiquette, or the Customs Adopted by Polite Society throughout the United States.   Manners during the Civil War is available on Amazon.

My final published piece was a true story of a ghostly encounter I had at the Spotslyvania County Confederate Cemetery featured in Encounters With the Paranormal: Volume 3: Personal Tales of the Supernatural edited by author Mike Ricksecker.  The book was published in October and proceeds goes towards preserving the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, IL.  The book is also available on Amazon and at Haunted Road Media.

Happy reading!