My Civil War Pilgrimage, 2018

I’ve FINALLY got the “vlog” uploaded to YouTube! If you have 2 hours to kill and want to learn some Civil War stuff, here ya go! Pictures can’t do it justice, but I’ll put the picture collages below for each location I visited.
It was an amazing trip, packed with memories I’ll cherish forever. I call it a pilgrimage because it’s been both an adventure and a huge watershed event for me. The biggest fears were that I’d have an anxiety/panic attack and freeze up at some point along the trip. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Quite the opposite. I’ve become a little braver. I’ve proved to myself that I can travel and make decisions for myself without freaking out, since Jared didn’t come along with me. It’s so liberating to realize that I can finally do the things I love without being afraid. Wanna hear more? Check out the video!

When looking through these photos, if you see a haversack (tan/off-white messenger bag), these are markers or locations I was specifically looking for because they have significance in my newest historical paranormal release, The Soldier.

Richmond, September 13th
Confederate Whitehouse, Museum of the Confederacy, Tredegar Iron Works.

 

September 14th – Appomattox Courthouse

 

September 15th – Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Antietam Overlook Farms

 

September 16th – Gettysburg

 

September 17th, Antietam – 156th Battle Anniversary

 

September 28th – Franklin GA Monument, Noah Culpepper’s Grave

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Something About Sheritta #12

DSC_7477What did you edit out of your most recent work-in-progress?

In The Outlaw, I had the character of Henry as a completely different person. He was going to be a cattle driver, working a legitimate job and volunteering out of nowhere to accompany Ben and Sarah on their quest to find the outlaw Clarence. That didn’t sit well for two reasons. The first was that I changed the story location to Colorado and in the place their at, there was no cattle driving going on. There was the Goodnight-Loving Trail but it led up the central-eastern side of the state toward Denver, which my characters never venture close to. Secondly, it didn’t make sense that Henry would just want to drop a perfectly good paying gig to accompany them. I planned out this story years ago and it was more of a rough idea at the time. I hadn’t thought it all the way through. Now that I had more time to think, I decided to make Henry more of an outlaw/rogue type of guy and that he actually knew Ben from their days working on the railroad. This made more sense for his involvement in the story and added a little more dimension to Ben’s character at the same time.

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Legacy Volume 2 Now On Audible!

It’s here! Legacy Volume 2 is now on Audible for you audiobook addicts!

Check it out on Audible!

As before, the next four novellas have been compiled into one convenient volume for your listening pleasure, narrated by the talented and addictive voice of Jay Lindenwood. For those who loved his interpretation of the characters from volume one, you’ll love this addition even more! Accents galore, entrancing with every chapter! Not convinced? Just check out this sample from the fourth book in the volume, The Scholars.

The Pirate – 1717; James Lent, better known as the Devil Dog of the Caribbean, is one of the most fearsome pirates known to stalk the sea. Only his quartermaster knows his darkest secret that he’s not just a brave captain, but a werewolf. Things begin to get complicated when he holds the daughter of the governor of Kingston for ransom, this cold and ruthless pirate’s heart begins to soften. They don’t get better when he needs to outrun an infamous pirate hunter, Bart Croxen. Torn between freedom and love, the Devil Dog must decide his fate before someone else does.

The Native – 1734; Adam, the mixed child of a Navajo woman and European trader, makes the unsettling discovery that he is not any normal man. When Geoffrey Swenson shows back up to the village, prompted to visit his son for the first time since boyhood, it’s for a more disquieting reason. Adam is coming into his true identity as a werewolf and must leave behind his old ways of life, his traditions, and everything he’s known, to train with his estranged father. But with a new sickness sweeping through the tribes, leaving may prove harder than they ever imagined.

The Irishman – 1770; Dustin Keith only wants two things in life; to have fun and marry his childhood sweetheart. When he finally wins the approval of her traditional father, he thinks that things couldn’t get better. But when what should have been a blissful wedding night turns into a walking nightmare, Dustin must come to grips with a part of himself that harkens back to the old-world superstitions that he thought he could leave behind when he said his vows.

The Scholars – 1791; Geoffrey and Adam Swenson are imprisoned on a ship, bound for Australia – then known as New Holland – under bogus criminal charges pressed against them in England. After they escape and flee from the budding settlement of New South Wales, they find that they are not the only werewolves on this strange and dangerous new continent.

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Something About Sheritta #11

2What is something unique/quirky about you?

To be totally honest, it took a while for me to come up with something. All of my potentially unique or quirky aspects, once examined, aren’t so unique or quirky because I’m sure there are some people out there who can relate. One thing, for instance, is that I know almost every single line for the first thirty minutes of the movie “Beauty and the Beast” (the animated, not live action – though that was spectacular too). I’ve loved this movie for as long as I can remember and have watched it more times than I could ever begin to count. The same goes for the movie “Titanic”, but I only know all of Rose’s lines when she’s reminiscing about the ship.
Perhaps another quirk would be that I can’t sleep on my back. If I do, I have terrible nightmares. I always have to sleep on one side or the other, or on my stomach. But never my back. My husband has often woken me up in the middle of the night to let me know that I had inadvertently rolled onto my back and I’ll right myself.
When I’m home alone or feeling particularly goofy, I’ll talk to my dogs in a southern belle accent without ever meaning too. I blame the fifty-some-odd hours I spent listening to the audiobook for Gone With The Wind.
My music tastes range from opera, Broadway, Celtic, classical, folk/traditional, to country, hard rock, punk, pop, to Disney tunes, sea shanties, 18th century ballads, and reggaeton. You could get whiplash just listening to my eclectic playlists. The only thing I refuse to listen to is rap.

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The Soldier is Live!

Right now, I’m in Sharpsburg Maryland on the battlefield where Ben Myers and Dustin Keith first met. Their fates have crossed and the book is released! This has really been a labor of love and I’m reaping the fruits of that labor right now as I walk the ground where over 22,000 fell over a century and a half ago. It’s surreal and you’ll get to read/watch my recap of the trip sometime next week.

In the meantime, go onto Amazon and get your copy of The Soldier!

Get it Here!

The-Soldier-fullAmerica – 1862
The nation has been torn apart by a war of secession, but not all southerners are alike and fight for their own causes. That’s what Dustin Keith, a werewolf recently liberated from his mentor’s guardianship, saw in Ben Myers, a Georgia farm boy serving in the Confederate Army. Only in the army so he could escape north and then find a way abroad, Dustin never expected to take part in the single bloodiest day in American history. At Antietam, Ben is fatally wounded and Dustin sees that the only way to save this good soul is to turn him into what he is – a werewolf.
With a wife and infant son at home, Ben wants nothing more than to see the end of this terrible war and go home to his own state. But now, freshly turned into a supernatural creature with unbelievable abilities, the long journey home from Virginia has become that much more difficult. If the enemy army, a strict mentor, and sheer distance wasn’t enough, there’s something off about Ben’s condition that will make it nearly impossible for him to enter society ever again.

 

 

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In The West Woods…

Releasing September 17th, 2018, here’s a snippet from Chapter 2 of The Soldier

Preorder on Amazon!

Chapter 2

September 17th, 1862
West Woods Behind Dunker Church

March. March. March. Just keep marchin’.
Ben focused all his energy into taking one step after another, following the man in front of him with his rifle propped against his shoulder. All around, the thunder of canons, the faraway shouts of troops, and the general stomach-turning fact that he was about to join the fight, made him want to turn tail and run.
But he couldn’t allow himself to think. He took Brigadier General George Anderson’s advice and stayed all hands and all feet. Alert and yet numb to the battle and the dizzying thoughts of what they were getting themselves into. He couldn’t think about the shredded bodies of his old pals. He couldn’t think of Thomas Brittain who was shot at Manassas just a few weeks ago. Nor could he recall Henry Hester’s death mask when he lay dying from his wounds after the battle at Malvern Hill in July. And he couldn’t replay the last conversation he had with Jack Wilson back in June at Garnett’s Farm where he died at the hospital.
He briskly shook his head and began muttering to himself, “March. March. March.”
He, along with the rest of Anderson’s Brigade had been guarding Boonsboro Pike with the other regiments that made up D.R Jones’ Division. But that’s not where the fighting was. Farther north toward the cornfield he had seen when they arrived, the battle having commenced early that morning. The ground, wet from last night’s rain and the sky still overcast to give the day a gray and somber feel, it was proving to be a miserable dawn that would no doubt turn into a bloody day.
Lee – whom they teasingly called Granny Lee for his snow-white beard and grandfatherly deportment toward his troops – made a habit of riding up and down the field of battle, assessing every situation carefully and coolly. Rarely raising his voice in anger toward the privates and giving clear instruction to his subordinate officers, Ben knew he would never serve under a better general. He was the picture of military strength and leadership. Under Lee, they couldn’t possibly lose.
And that’s why when he ordered Anderson’s Brigade north to fight back an encroaching band of Union soldiers who were ready to take a good piece of strategic ground, Ben didn’t quake in his boots as some of the other men did.
Already the victor of several battles, Ben had the good fortune of never sustaining a wound. He had been shot, but never in a place that mattered. Twice through his cartridge box, and once through the sleeve of his jacket. Each one narrowly missed its intended mark and each time, Ben thanked the good Lord above that the angels were looking out for him, even in the midst of so much death and carnage.
Anderson’s Brigade had been ordered to join ranks with McClaw and Walker’s divisions, so Ben and the seventh Georgia infantry made their way toward a patch of woods. To their right, he could hear the roar of canons and feel the earth tremble beneath his bare feet with each deafening volley. Farther ahead and to the left, came the hurried orders from officers and a procession line of wounded men being carried to safe ground.
The few glimpses of their beaten and battered bodies emboldened Ben. If Lee thought them capable of plugging this hole in his line, then he would do so and stop any advancing Yankee. Pride for his state, his country, and the cause for southern independence galvanized his courage.
Ben trudged through the thicket – rather loudly due to the constant crackle of parched leaves and fallen branches beneath their feet – and could see the white brick of the church building they had passed the previous day. Empty of all its congregation and riddled with holes from artillery fire and rifle shot, it remained standing on the edge of the battlefield. He heard some other soldier say it belonged to some pacifist Germans. How ironic. Continue reading

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Mister, Here’s Your Mule!

I love all the quirky things I learned about the Civil War. Here’s one of them!
The life of a soldier in either army (North or South) was fairly dull between battles. For amusement, they would play games and pranks on one another – all in good fun. One of them was the classic “Mister, here’s your mule!” trick. Peddlers came into camps, looking to sell their wares to the soldiers who were paid (on average) $11 a month. They sometimes brought mules into camp with them. One of the privates would steal the mule or it would naturally go missing, which drove the peddler to go around and ask where his mule had run off to. Then, one soldier would cry out from across the campground “Mister, here’s your mule!” When the peddler would find the mule was still missing, another soldier on the other side of camp would cry out the same. This would inevitably send the peddler on a wild goose chase to find the mule while the soldiers got a good laugh out of it. It later developed into a kind of running joke amongst the army and was later put into a song or two!

This, along with other neat historical tid-bits can be found in my newest release, The Soldier, releasing on the 156th anniversary of the Battle at Antietam. Get your copy preordered today and it’ll be delivered right to your reading device!

Here on Amazon! 

 

 

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Sneak Peek into The Convicts

Get it today on Amazon! 

Chapter 1

March 30th, New Orleans 1815

The odors and sounds of the city met Bart even before they rounded the final bend in the river. The creaking of merchant ships, and the shouting of men on the docks as they loaded and unloaded fresh cargo were distinctly heard from his place at the bow. Now that the British blockade had been lifted, the peace treaty ratified in Congress, commerce and trade could continue.
Bart was fortunate enough to miss the battle just down river a couple of months prior, along with nearly all of the martial law limitations that Andrew Jackson had enforced over the citizens. Though the trip to Natchitoches was far from convenient, he was able to bypass a rather messy altercation. Now, he returned with one less reformed loup-garou and with more questions as to how his own enterprises had faired during his absence.
Bleached sails came into view, their masts swaying with the wind as they navigated down the muddy Mississippi. Ships from all nations were anchored at the docks or easing their way out of the harbor. Bart held fast to the line as he leaned over the railing to catch a glimpse of the port. Not part of the Americas for even a decade, New Orleans was steadily becoming a booming hub, just as the politicians had predicted. Situated upon the mighty river that snaked north along the borders of her neighboring states, it was the ideal place for all incoming and outgoing trade to help fuel westward expansion.
But Bart had never been interested in the efforts of the French, Spanish, or the Americans that owned this land over the last century. This place wasn’t only ideal for trade, but for a certain mission of his that few knew about, but nearly all had speculated. The unique terrain became his ally when hiding his activities along the edges of the cypress swamps to the south of the river.
For now, he had a few men to see and some affairs to settle with the customs house. Then he could return to the place that had been his home for almost a hundred years.
He felt an uncanny wash of relief at the sight of the port city. It was emitted by his inner wolf, but not necessarily shared by him. Bart was one of the few loups-garous he knew that enjoyed sailing, whether it be across the ocean or down a river that concealed deadly sandbars. His wolf, however, did not agree and as soon as his boots made contact with the dock after walking down the gangplank, he was overcome by a silly urge to kiss the stable ground.
Of course, he refrained and carried himself like the gentlemen his reputation demanded of him. Anyone might have seen him as a man just past his prime with touches of silver that streaked through his hair and beard. No one would have ever suspected that he was older than this very city and the country they now called home.
Continue reading

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Hurrah for The Soldier!

About a week and a half from now, this little gem is going LIVE! Releasing on the 156th anniversary of the Battle at Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland! I’ll be ON THE BATTLEFIELD on the day of the release!!!! I’m so stoked! That’s how much I LOVE this book, this series, and these characters.

I’m am a southern girl at heart. I like my sweet tea and I say “y’all” probably more than I should in professional conversation. But nothing could have prepared me for writing this story. I delved so deep into the history of the Civil War that it’s in my blood now. I loved every minute of it, but my research also taught me some hard truths regarding what the war was and wasn’t about. I learned about the opinions of both sides, Yankee and Confederate. I learned what it was like for the civilians, the soldiers, and the generals. So many movies and novels try to breathe life into this era and they do a fair job, but I think unless we have personally lived it there’s no way to grasp its full meaning and reality.

I endeavored to do this, but there was so much I couldn’t include while still sticking to the main plotline. This is the beginning of Ben’s long and heartwrenching story within the Legacy Series and it’s my fond hope that you will read and enjoy this tale of a true revel soldier.

Preorder Now! 

Releasing September 17th, 2018!

The-Soldier-fullAmerica – 1862
The nation has been torn apart by a war of secession, but not all southerners are alike and fight for their own causes. That’s what Dustin Keith, a werewolf recently liberated from his mentor’s guardianship, saw in Ben Myers, a Georgia farm boy serving in the Confederate Army. Only in the army so he could escape north and then find a way abroad, Dustin never expected to take part in the single bloodiest day in American history. At Antietam, Ben is fatally wounded and Dustin sees that the only way to save this good soul is to turn him into what he is – a werewolf.
With a wife and infant son at home, Ben wants nothing more than to see the end of this terrible war and go home to his own state. But now, freshly turned into a supernatural creature with unbelievable abilities, the long journey home from Virginia has become that much more difficult. If the enemy army, a strict mentor, and sheer distance wasn’t enough, there’s something off about Ben’s condition that will make it nearly impossible for him to enter society ever again.

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Rougarous are here!

In their first debut in the Legacy Series, the rougarous are coming from the Louisiana swamps. Up to this point in the series, they haven’t really been given a name, but for those who know my Loup-Garou Series, we know them to make up Gregory and Erik’s pack in Crestucky. But in The Convicts, we get a glimpse of the kind how these more vicious and deadly variety of loups-garous operate.

Now available on Amazon! 

The-Convict-fullNew Orleans – 1815
Bart Croxen never thought he would see his son again, especially not in Louisiana. Andrew Jackson has finally lifted marshal law over the port city after the Battle of New Orleans and everyone is eager to praise and honor the valiant war heroes who defended them against the invading British. Creoles, Acadians, Irish, Germans, Spanish, and plenty of French citizens welcome Baratarian pirates like James and Robert into their social circles, but they are more interested in reuniting with their estranged relative. They come to find out that Bart has made a reputation for himself as a tamer of rougarous, werewolves like himself who had developed a taste for human flesh. On his plantation of sharecroppers – mostly former slaves that Bart has freed himself – he rehabilitates deranged werewolves in secret.
James has arrived just in time to see his father in action, though he still has some reserves about how the plantation and virtual prison is being operated. Although everyone assures him that Bart is generous and selfless to a fault, he is still not convinced. After an escape attempt by a particularly stubborn and dangerous rougarou, some start to think he may be onto something.

 

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