Historical Novelists’ 4 Day Book Fair

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What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?

4093. The Author. – If you would write to any purpose, you must be perfectly free from without, in the first place, and yet more free from within.

Oh, Goody. A Gathering of Historical Fiction NovelistsTree Soldier front for Kindle etc

Thanks to Francine  Howarth for setting up this Spring Book Fair. I write historical set in the 19th and early 20th century. The Civilian Conservation Corpswas a Great Depression relief program that put thousands of young men to work in the forests, national parks and state parks, and agricultural lands

Please check out the other wonderful writers in this blog fest. http://francinehowarth.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-contribution-historical-book-fair.html

Where to Find Tree Soldier:

It’s in book form or Kindle.

In the USA: http://goo.gl/Zv3UD

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tree-Soldier-ebook/dp/B004C44F0Q

Tree Soldier: The scene

Park Hardesty is an “enrollee” in the Civilian Conservation Corps. An Easterner, he has come West to work in the New Deal program and to escape his part in a terrible accident that caused the disfigurement of his brother. He has just delivered some fish to a mountain lake and on the way back to the CCC camp, he is knocked down by tree. Local outdoors woman, Kate Alford, has rescued him but caught in a storm, hypothermia is taking hold.

Back Cover Blurb

One mistake can ruin a life. One mistake can transform it. A government forestry camp set deep in the mountainous forests of the Pacific Northwest might not seem the likely place to find redemption, but in 1935, Park Hardesty hopes for just that. Blaming himself for the fiery accident that caused his brother’s disfigurement and the death of the bootlegging woman he loved, planting trees, building bridges and mentoring tough, homesick New Jersey boys brings him both penitence and the renewal of his own self-worth. When he wins the love of Kate Alford, a local naturalist who envisions joining the Forest Service, which allows only men, he also captures the ire of a camp officer who refuses to let her go. Just when he is ready to seek his brother’s forgiveness, he is falsely accused of rape. Every aspect of his life he has tried to rebuild is put in jeopardy. In the end, the only way he can defend himself is to tell the truth about his brother, but he risks being kicked out of the camp. Worse, he could lose Kate’s love forever.

Here’s a book trailer: Tree Soldier

Excerpt

Kate woke abruptly a few couple of hours later and found that Hardesty had kicked her shoulder with his feet. Fumbling for the flashlight, she shined it on him and found him stirring restlessly under his covers. He was still asleep, but hardly peaceful. His whole body was trembling like a horse’s skin flicking off a swarm of flies. His face was pale and his head moved with agitation. Slipping out of her bedroll, she crawled over. Hardesty held one of the top blankets tightly in his hand, but it shook like he had palsy. Alarmed, she touched his good shoulder and found that he felt damp and cold. His sandy hair was plastered on his forehead and his breathing was shallow.

Mr. — Park,” she corrected. “Park?”

When he didn’t respond, she went back to her rucksack and took out a flannel shirt. Coming back, she wiped his face and neck, wondering how she’d change his shirt without disturbing his shoulder if she had to do that. When she touched his forehead, it felt cold.

“Park?” She sat back, uncomfortable about his worsening condition. She looked at her watch: two-thirty with two and one half-hours to go until daylight. She had nothing else to give him except her own bedding. She pulled the wool camp blankets across his body and rearranged the ones beneath. Sitting back near the tent wall, she turned off the light and listened to the light tap of the rain outside as it resumed again. She wanted to sleep, but knew that she couldn’t until this crisis was over. And it was a crisis.

Increasingly as the time passed, Hardesty’s breathing became more and more audible above the patter as he breathed through his teeth. Suddenly, he began to mutter. At first, she couldn’t understand him, but when the words became clearer, she realized that he wasn’t speaking English. She wasn’t sure, but it sounded like French. Whatever it was, she was sure that he was addressing a woman. For awhile he spoke to her in a low voice, then seemed to argue with her or was it with himself?

“Marie!” he called suddenly. “Marie!” His actions became agitated, his legs moving under the blankets. His words were slurred.

Arrete, Marie. Je t’en pris. Mon frère – Paul!” Hardesty flung his arm out, hitting Kate’s knee. She took it without thinking and holding his hand, sought to comfort him in the dark. He felt both cold and clammy to her and when his struggles continued, she spoke to him a soothing voice.

“Park, please listen. Park. You’re all right. You mustn’t be afraid.”

Quoi?”

She heard him turn in the dark space and wondered if his eyes were opened. He acted as though he were awake, but when he continued muttering in French, she felt increasing alarm and confusion because he wasn’t fully conscious.

“Mr. Hardesty, you must be still. You’ll hurt yourself.”

She felt for his forehead with her other hand and continued to talk above his stream of foreign words. Suddenly, he stiffened and cried out in anguish.

Mon frère. Quest-ce j’avais fait? Tu est mort. Tu est mort!” He came forward at that, then collapsed back holding his shoulder. When Kate hastily got the flashlight on she found him out cold.

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7 thoughts on “Historical Novelists’ 4 Day Book Fair

  1. Not all “history” took part in the Middle Ages, and as I’ve never heard of the Civilian Conservation Corps I was made very curious by the above. Good luck w the book – and I like the title!

    • Everyone on relief participated. Though segregation was in practice, there were many CCC boys of African descent around the country who were in the program. I have a pix of a group of young men working at a national historical park, fixing cannon. I’ve heard some “companies” came out West. May have worked on a scenic road just south of my town.

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