Sunday, November 28, 2010

a colonial christmas

Thanksgiving and all that snow are now history! And I'm dreaming of a colonial Christmas like the one in this quaint painting. Only colonials didn't do trees:) Hope your Thanksgiving was full of all the unexpected blessings that HE is so adept at bestowing.

Ours was quite festive with a foot of snow. Wyatt turned 14 and enjoyed the chocolate and coconut cream pies I made. Randy and the boys took a walk in the woods and chopped down a twelve foot Noble Fir for the deck. I scribbled a couple of new scenes for book one of The Ballantyne Legacy and listened to Paul fiddle some holiday tunes. And now I'm packing my bags again...

Soon I'll be winging my way to Kentucky and Tennessee for a family reunion in the Smoky Mountains. So I've decided to take the month of December off here on the blog for family time. The last two years I've had to work over the holidays as I've gotten my galleys for TFD and CML in December. Believe me, hearing word that they'll arrive in January this time is the best Christmas present ever!

I'm already looking forward to coming back in January and hearing what you've been up to! For now, I'd love to know how the weather is in your neck of the woods, if you're decorating, and what's cooking in your kitchen:) Or maybe what's on your Christmas wish list? Mine is rather simple - a bread machine and a soup/bread cookbook...

Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man. ~anon


  1. Have a wonderful reunion! Give a wave toward Maryville on your way to the mountains.

    Our weather has only just now started getting cold. Thanksgiving was 74 degrees! I thinks it's supposed to be about normal for Tennessee for the next few weeks.

    We're decorating the tree today and tomorrow, but not much cooking yet.

  2. Barbara, Wonderful to see you here again:) Maryville sounds like a delightful place! My Kentucky momma has been hanging things on the line still so it must be warm! In years past we always took a little hike up the Pinnacle on Thanksgiving Day. If the weather holds we might get up there this trip. Praying you have a blessed time decorating and cooking. And may there be some good books under your tree!

  3. Oh, how I'd LOVE a colonial Christmas! How pretty is that? Here...its been chilly and today, SO windy! It blew the tarp right off my rabbit hutch ;)

    I know we'll be missing you while you're in kentucky! But I know you'll be soaking up the scenes and the places for more stories to come.

    I just got an email that I won your giveaway from the other day! I have such an interesting story to tell you about that.... ;) it came at the most perfect time!

  4. Heather, I was SO delighted that you won the book!! It really is tailor-made for you, you artist-writer girl:) And I'd love to hear your story anytime you want to tell it! Maybe you're getting nudged to keep on writing that story you've been teasing us about:) I have your addy so will mail that out to you tomorrow.

    Hope those rabbits like the wind ~ I know they're snug in their fur coats:)

  5. Have a wonderful time with your family during your reunion and Christmas celebrations, Laura! Wishing you much joy and many blessings!

  6. I hope your time off is peaceful and filled with the joys of the season.

    My heart still belongs to NYC and remains the major theme of my archived Christmas posts.

    The picture in my head of the country Christmas came true only once in reality, when we spent the week with my mother's family in Poughkeepsie. At that time it was a sleepy little town in the Hudson Valley, but for a very impressionable six year old, it was a winter wonderland :)

    Blessings for the New Year.

  7. Laura, so happy you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I'm wishing the same to you for Christmas! Enjoy the "break"!

  8. It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was quite enjoyable. The food was very good, and I enjoyed spending time with my family.

    If you've never shopped in an unfamiliar grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving, I highly recommend it. That seems to be a new tradition for me. Luckily, my mom is a cashier there, so if I had problems finding things I went and asked her.

    My Christmas tree is up. It's 6 foot tree. I always decorate it in purple and gold. I also have clear and purple lights on it. It's very pretty, and very me.

    My mom was asking me over the weekend what I want for Christmas. I'll need to go through my wishlist on CBD to see what is available. I know there are a couple of cd's I want (Third Day and Chris Tomlin), but I need to decide what books I want.

    I hope you have a wonderful family reunion. The weather has turned a little cold here, but it's almost December it's supposed to!

  9. Had a delightful Thanksgiving. We were invited over to celebrate with friends, and a family member of theirs was up from LA with a friend of his. He's a filmmaker, and turns out he's been on set of my favorite show, CHUCK, and even had some film on his camera taken behind the scenes. Fun. His friend who joined us is a script writer. We had a lot of great writing talk, so much so that the friends who knew me already laughed and said they never knew I talked so much.

    Will miss you here during December, but am so glad along with you that you don't have to deal with galleys until the new year. Blessings to you, and I wish I could tag along on your trip. Hankering to get back to eastern TN to poke around again. Oh, and NY, too!

    It's a cold foggy morning in southern Oregon.

  10. Laura, here's an extra comment for you since you won't be around for the month of December! The quote in this post reminded me of another one I wanted to share with you. Have you come across it before?

    Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself around you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart . . . filled it, too, with melody that would last forever. Bess Streeter Aldrich

    Enjoy the beautiful words!

  11. I'm glad you had such a great celebration of Thanksgiving. I wish you well on your travels and hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas surrounded by those near and dear to you.

  12. Taking the month of December off will probably be really nice. I hope your holiday is lovely!

  13. Oh, I'm so glad that you'll be able to go visit family and with no looming deadline!!

    I am preparing lesson plans because I'm going to be teaching Creative Writing at Elizabeth's co-op come January (ages 9-12). Shopping is done. Things are a lot more hectic with homeschooling, so as far as activities I'm simplifying.

  14. Hi, Laura, been a while since I stopped by.

    It's cold here in Illinois, but so far no snow, that will come soon enough. I've been baking, but haven't really got to taste my own products, as the family gobbles it up before I can get a bite, lol! Certainly didn't hear any complaints from my FIL when he ate my from scratch pumpkin pie--we don't use canned pumpkin anymore, just not the same as the real stuff.

    Now I'm in the midst of preparing for a new season as head volleyball coach and writing a new book. This winter is proving to be fun filled for me and the family!

  15. You're coming here? To the Smokies? Oh joy! Hooray! Which part of these hills will you be visiting? I hope you'll post blog pics. I'm getting ready to post some of my own from a Smokies camping trip I took this weekend. I believe I've found inspiration for Book #2!

    Highlanders had little notion of Christmas. If they celebrated it at all, it was in often in January.

    I hope you have a great Christmas! I don't blame you for taking a blog-break.

  16. 'Tis the season for creative inspiration!!

    We didn't get our snow until the day after Thanksgiving, Brad's 50th birthday. It sounds like you all had a wonderful time during your Thanksgiving holiday, especially celebrating Wyatt's birthday (except for the coconut part - I do have a strong aversion to that white stuff!)

    A Smokey mountain family reunion! Wonderful!!I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy your December time with the boys and Randy (especially since you won't be working on your galleys!). I'll miss you and can't believe that we'll be seeing you again not until next year. It seems so far away, but alas, it is right around the corner.

    I haven't begun to think about Christmas yet. But I do know that I have the best Christmas gift ever with my book deal. If you get a moment before you sign off for the season, I'd love it if you could stop over to my blog to see my post. :)

    Blessings to a true inspiration and special friend!

  17. Florence, I love your childhood memory. Even reading it secondhand gives me winter wonderland goosebumps:) I've heard that area of NY is just beautiful, especially when it snows. But NYC at Christmas must be a sight to behold! Wishing you much joy and peace this holiday season, too. I am blessed to have met you through Keli's blog!

  18. Renee Ann, You must know I love BS Aldrich!! The quote is beautiful and showcases one of the reasons I love her writing so much, purple prosey and all:) Though I never thought of her that way! She and LM Montgomery have a similar style though some might argue with me about that. Have you read Song of Years? Am wondering if your quote is from ALIHH?

    I read her The Lieutenant's Lady last year and it has some fine moments. You may have read that, too. We seem to be kindred book spirits!!

  19. Ruth, I hope your blog doesn't do anything spectacular over my break or I'll be heartbroken!! I will literally be completely offline for 10 whole days starting next Monday. Sakes! That's like going w/o food for me. I've already warned my editors...

    Hoping this Christmas is just magical in every way for you, dear friend!

  20. Michelle,
    Gold and purple sound like a lovely combo! Especially if that purple is a lavender shade, my personal favorite:)

    I chuckled at your grocery store comment. Our new Walmart is a super store and just opened. Greeters give you a map when you come in, otherwise I just go round in circles. And pick up all kinds of interersting items. Wish my mom was clerking there!

    I wish I could buzz over to LEX and see you when I come through next week:) But I'll tell you a little secret. I get to meet you next August 6 (Lord willing) when I come home to do a book signing in Winchester:) Woohoo! Details to come...

    Hoping you get those CDs - nothing like music and books to make one happy heart!

  21. Keli,
    Your kind comments are a great send-off. I'm finally getting excited about this trip. Have to look past the hassle of traveling in December to family, food, and all the blessings on the other end. Hoping your holidays are full of wonderful things, including time spent with your daughter. Thinking of you!

  22. Lori,
    We've got to get you to NY! And I can see why TN is so tempting with your WIP. If you're like me, being there is never long enough to do all the research and wandering and thinking. I know your September stop was wonderful but brief.

    That's so neat about the CHUCK connection! Makes me want to watch more than ever now. I think it's Casey who is such a CHUCK fan:) Today I hear Josh G. singing a holiday tune on the radio and thought of you. You might just well convert me!

    Hoping your holidays are bright and full of writing and dreaming...

  23. Oh Laura, I have a Thanksgiving testimony I'd like to share with you :)

    God is so incredible and on Thanksgiving He gave us a miracle! My cousin's Aunt has been having a lot problems with her health (due to complications from a surgery this past summer) and this past weekend she took a turn for the worst. They couldn't get a pulse for almost 15 min. My cousin's cousin called 911 and when they got there they had to use those paddles repeatedly and finally got her back, but she crashed twice in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. They finally stabilized her but she slipped into a coma and they had to put a tube down her throat to breathe for her. They did an MRI and said there was a lot of grey matter in her brain indicating dead areas where the oxygen had been cut off from in those 15 min. with no heartbeat. The doctors firmly believed she wouldn't pull through, but praise the Lord that our faith does not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God (1Cor. 2:5)! Wednesday night is our prayer night at church and my cousin and I went. She told our pastor about her Aunt and he immediately asked if he could go to the hospital with us right then to pray for her. Many times people in a coma can actually hear you talking, so we prayed if she could hear anything it would be the Name of Jesus and our fervent prayers. We got to the ICU and she was alone in her room, so we told her we were there along with our pastor and we started to pray. My cousin was holding her hand and while we were praying she actually moved her fingers! We left the hospital with a special peace and knew the Lord was going to do something, we could just feel His Spirit in that hospital room as we prayed. Well, the following day (Thanksgiving morning) my cousin called me to say her Aunt was sitting up in bed, eyes open, smiling and waving! It was so incredible- we were crying and praising the Lord all day! She still isn't out of the woods yet, but I believe the Lord has a plan for her life and this testimony.

    Laura, I will miss you terribly, but I pray you have a beautiful December spending time with your precious family :) And, I also pray you have a wonderful family reunion with traveling mercies there and back!

    God Bless you, dear friend!
    Amanda Stanley

  24. Oh,Laura, enjoy every second of your extended break. What bliss -- a family reunion in your beloved Kentucky. And the Smokey Mountains sound so romantic.

    I'm having an old-fashioned Christmas this year -- making most of my gifts and giving books. I'm enjoying the low key at home time instead of the frenzied shopping mania!

  25. Julia,
    It is such a relief to be galleys free this Christmas:) Though I'm thankful for the work, it is WORK at Christmastime. I've felt the Lord telling me family is first (sometimes I am dense about this). My boys begged me not to take my laptop to TN. I'll still be writing but offline most of the time. Since I still write everything in longhand first, this will not be hard to do. Can you tell I'm conflicted about all this, thus the novella here?!

    So happy to hear you'll be teaching creative writing - that age group is great for that!! Please let me know how it goes. I loved my writing teachers at that age and saved my stories. Homeschooling really does keep you on your toes, I know. Your plate is full but you sound happy and fulfilled:) And I know your kids are, too!

  26. Adrienne, I appreciate your vote of confidence for the no-laptop time in December:) That really does warm my heart! I wonder if you readers have a tug of being offline and online or manage that well? I'm getting better as I nixed Twitter and some other networking sites. It gives me a great deal more writing time.

    Praying His best for you this holiday season in every way. Bless you for your thoughtful comments.

  27. Winter, I remember talking to you in Indy about volleyball:) I hope your season is amazing! That's such a fun sport. With your writing going so well, you'll have spend some happy holiday hours this year.

    I've never made a pumpkin pie from "scratch" as they say and am ashamed. Lael would shudder!! I'm sure it tastes completely different than Libbys. And I laughed at your comment about your kids gobbling everything up before you get any. Ditto here!! Only I'm not getting any smaller for some reason:)

    Praying for you as you coach, write, and get ready for hubby's big trip. Bless you all!

  28. Britt, We'll be by Pigeon Forge in a lodge up in the mountains:) Is that anywhere near you? I have visions of snow but my mother is still hanging clothes on the line in KY so this dream is strictly in my head... We have enough here, anyway.

    I can't wait to stop by your blog and see your trip pics! Love hearing you have fresh inspiration. Time in the outdoors always does that for me. You and Lori B. should meet if you haven't already. She's writing a TN novel (or about to). Her premise is fascinating. And I'm so intrigued by your talk of Highlanders, etc. January, indeed:)

    See you on your blog!

  29. Carla,
    Am so glad you posted about your happy news! And congrats on Chip McG as he's great!! It's wonderful to imagine holding your book in my hands. And you have such a great writing team to share the journey with. Many joys in store for you...thanks so much for being an inspiration for me!

  30. Amanda,
    What an amazing, moving testimony!! I would add more exclamation points but it wouldn't do it justice! I'm very moved that your pastor would drop everything and GO when needed - right to her side and pray with you in her hearing!! Moreover, love that you witnessed HIS sweet spirit in the room with you and went away with peace and expectant hearts - which HE honored!! And to think that she was restored on Thanksgiving Day is very poignant and unforgettable. I know you'll have that memory to warm you for a long, long time. HE truly is alive and moving among us in miraculous ways and you witnessed that firsthand. Thanks so much for sharing that here. I know it will bless others like it blesses me. We need to share such things because it bolsters our faith. Prayer is so powerful! And God's love is limitless. He obviously has a plan for your cousin's aunt. I would have loved to have been in that hospital room when she sat up!

    I'm so glad you're going to miss my blogging when I'm away:) I'll miss you as well! In fact, it's become such a habit to touch base with you all you feel more like my sisters (I don't have any:)!

    Praying you have a wonderful week in Him, celebrating your Thanksgiving miracle!

  31. I'll be thinking of you and praying you have a wonderful trip. Especially the flying part (are you flying or driving?). I'm considering not flying at all until they stop with this pat down thing. I'd rather drive across the country and take the extra time.

    My profile pick on FB right now is me sitting on a high rocky trailside in Cades Cove, TN.

    Just listen to Josh Groban for a little while, you'll convert! :) I'm so loving his new album Illuminations. Ruth is also a fan.

  32. Kav, Your holiday gift giving sounds perfect to me. Very creative and heartfelt! And if it keeps you out of the frenzy, I'm all for that. After an hour at Walmart today I am worn out!

    I will try and take some good pics of our TN reunion. We might be in shorts as it's so warm there right now:) Hoping we stay healthy and safe. Prayers are sure appreciated. Sending them your way as well and hoping this is your best holiday yet.

  33. Debra, Love your wording:) Edit-free sounds postively decadent to me. Praying yours is the same. Looking forward to seeing you in the new year!!

  34. I so appreciate your prayers, Lori (and everyone). Randy agrees with you and would much rather drive (I would, too) but we are flying. The boys think it's all a grand adventure but they haven't flown for several years now:) I hate to disppoint them! They will probably think the pat down is fun! Lots in the papers about those searches right now...

    Josh is growing on me. It doesn't take but a song or two and you're hooked! Hoping you have the best Christmas ever. I can just imagine you down there listening to Josh sing, your fingers flying on your WIP!

  35. I'm most familiar with A Lantern In Her Hand but had to go look for Song of Years after reading your comment, Laura. Right now you can pick it up at Amazon for $32 or even $75 for a brand new paperback. I guess it's a collector's item!(I ordered it from One of the reviewers on Amazon said that SOY is the favorite book of three generations of women in her family. I love reading that kind of story . . . BTW, have you ever read Mrs. Mike? For some reason, I think of that book in a similar Bess Streeter Aldrich category . . . And when I think of Victoria Holt (I know you've read her) I'm always reminded of Madeleine Brent. Have you ever read Moonraker's Bride? . . . Just wondering . . .

  36. Laura ~ I'm another fan of Josh Groban. Saw him in concert a couple of years ago. What an amazing voice he has. Illuminations is on my Christmas wishlist :)

    Have a wonderful break, a blessed Christmas with your family and maybe another viewing of North & South!

    Hugs xo xo

  37. I live pretty close to Pigeon Forge. My home is South of Knowxville, about 20 minutes away from Pigeon Forge. We go there almost every weekend because my in-laws live in Sevierville. I used to work in Pigeon Forge at a dinner show (it's no longer there.)

  38. Laura, if lavender is your favorite shade of purple, you would love the bows on my tree. My mom made them for me several years ago, and they are lavender with white.

    Yay, a book signing in Winchester on August 6! I will definitely put that on my calendar. So glad it's a Saturday. I will certainly be looking forward to it!

  39. Rel, I have my copy of North&South sitting right here beside my writing chair:) I think one of my favorite blog posts of all time was the one where you and I went back and forth about the movie. Bless you for that! And I do need another viewing SOON.

    I'm hoping you and your family have the best Christmas ever - with every day leading up to it full of delightful surprises and blessings! See you in January...

  40. Britt, I love hearing where you blog buddies are:) I wish I could gather you, Ruth, Kaye, and Barbara up and have a TN lunch!! Hope I'm not fogetting anyone...

    Never been to Pigeon Forge before, just Gatlinburg. Used to spend a lot of time in Nashville as I had relatives there. I would move to TN in a heartbeat! Enjoy every minute of your holiday. I sure enjoyed your blog pics and commentary about your time in the mountains.

  41. Michelle,
    SO happy I get to meet you!! I've been so anxious to tell you and post about it. Would you believe this book launch for The Colonel's Lady will be at The Colonel's Lady Tea Room in Winchester:)! I'll be meeting the owner when I'm home next week. We've finalized plans by phone and it's going to be wonderful. I'll be in 18th-century dress (as will others helping) and there will be lots of "high tea" type foods. Lots of books to sign and give away, too, plus a gift basket, etc. Anyway, can you tell I'm excited? Meeting you will be such a highlight so thanks for saving the date! I'll post an official invitation here when I return in January and then again closer to August.

    Oh, the fact that your mom made your bows is so lovely! They are really keepsakes, then. Enjoy every minute of that tree - it sounds magical. Maybe I'll request my next heroine be in a lavender gown:)

  42. I really enjoyed reading Amanda's Thanksgiving story this morning.
    Laura, I sometimes feel the need to just stay away from the computer for an entire day to regroup and remember my priorities. I read an article once about how there is a bootcamp in China for computer withdrawal. I have a feeling Americans aren't too far off. I also read once that a teenager had to have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome because they text messaged so much.

  43. Adrienne,
    I'm so glad you shared that about boot camp and electronic withdrawal. I don't think we're far off either. Sadly, people aren't into people anymore but devices. I really fear for this up and coming generation. Though I don't know you except as a blogging friend, you've always struck me as someone who is so sensible. I'm finding, now that I've reduced social networking to my blog and one FB page, that my mind is so free and uncluttered. It does help to remember our priorities like you said. Mine are my books.

    Thanks so much for your comments. They always bless. And I'm so glad Amanda shared her testimony with us. I've been thinking about it ever since!

  44. Renee Ann,
    I went to Amazon and read about Moonraker's Bride. Given our similar reading tastes, I think I'd love it and plan on reading. Since I was weaned on Victoria Holt novels (and all her psuedonyms), this looks like a winner. I gasped that one version is $400:) But the ppbk is only about $5! I have a very old copy of Song of Years and it is such a treasure. I think you'd love the story. Very beautiful language and deeply emotional. That's so interesting about the 3 generations loving that particular book. I did the same with my boys reading Laura Ingalls Wilder though Wyatt's favorite is Farmer Boy:) He says he likes the descriptions of the food!

    I have heard of Mrs. Mike and need to check that out as well. Oh, you are a wonderful resource, Renee Ann! I can just imagine how much fun it would be to talk to you over lunch!!

  45. Adrienne,
    Oh my, the joys of blog comments. When I read back over them they sometimes don't sound right! My priorities are my books - nope, didn't mean that. They come in third after God and family. Thank heavens:)

  46. Ewww it's cold and rainy here with mud EVERYWHERE! I posted on Facebook the other day that all I want for Christmas is summer but more realistically I think I want a Nook. :-) I hope you enjoy your time off and have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

    XOXO~ Renee

  47. Oh my goodness! I read Mrs. Mike ages ago and completely forgot about it until now! It was really good and it was probably one of the first romances that I ever checked outof the library LOL! I hope you get a chance to read it.

    Thank you for the kind message on my blog today! Love ya.


  48. YES, Renee, MUD! Most of it is on my living room rug, thanks to my boys here and melting snow:) I bet you're ready for a real PA snowstorm. Last year you just about froze your toes off, if I remember correctly! But wait, you said you're a summer girl like me:) And a nook sounds wonderful...

    Isn't it fun to get together and talk books! Bless Renee Ann for mentioning Mrs. Mike! Now that you've recalled such good things about it, I will have to read for sure. Praying you have an awesome holiday. xoxoxo back at ya:)

  49. Laura & Adrienne, to God be all the glory!! I'm so happy this testimony could bless you ladies :)

    Laura, like you said, it is a memory that will warm me for a very long time. I like that :) Whenever you're in a trial or storm or things seem impossible, it's remembered testimonies and the Lord's answers to past prayers that you can stand on, along with His promises.

    And, I'm very blessed to have a pastor who will do things like that, which is the norm for him, truly. Even for people he has never met, if he knows a soul is in need he is ready to run and be the hands and feet of Christ. He and his wife are such beautiful examples of the love of Jesus in so many ways and we thank the Lord for such a shepherd :)

    May this season be filled with testimonies of the Lord's goodness and faithfulness for all of us!!

    Prayers & Blessings,
    Amanda Stanley

  50. Amanda, Thanks so much for the f/u and your gracious words. I've been thinking about your testimony ever since and thanking God for pastors like yours. We have one who is a true shepherd, too, and it's such a blessing. Can't wait to get back in January and share more of what the Lord wowed us with in December. Praying your dad has a great trip and you are reunited soon!

  51. Dear Laura,

    I hope you have a wonderful time at the family reunion, and that you are able to find rest and relaxation. :) Sounds like so much fun!

    I'm sorry I didn't comment sooner. :( I'll miss your posts and your comments during this month, but I'm blessed by your example in putting family and the Lord above blogging. God has used you in such amazing ways in my life, and I'm so thankful for your friendship and encouragement! :D (I'm sure I've said that before, but just to make sure...) ;)

    Have a fabulous December and a merry Christmas, and see you in 2011! :D


  52. Amber, Likewise, I'm so thankful that we've become reading friends/blogging buddies! Seeing younger writers like you with such a heart for Christ inspires and blesses me in so many ways! And than you again for taking time for my books and writing such wonderful reviews. You are a blessing to so many in many ways!! Praying your holiday season is full of all that delights His heart and yours. See you in 2011!

  53. Merry Christmas! I just began reading "The Frontiersman's Daughter." I live in Lexington KY and my ancestors came here from Lancaster County PA in the 1700s also. They were of German descent. Some were captured by Shawnee indians at the battle of Ruddle's Station (aka Hinkston's Station or Ruddle's Mills). Allan Eckert mentions it in his book "The Frontiersmen." My mother is in the Owen County DAR and does lots of genealogical research. Loads of interesting historical events, wars, battles, family feuds, et al. I hope you travel safely this week. One of my brothers lives in Seattle also, with his family, and they are coming to Kentucky for Christmas too.

    Have a safe and merry Kentucky Christmas.


  54. I just had to ask, why did you name the heroine of the Frontiersman's Daughter "Lael"? I wondered when I saw it, because some of my Kentucky ancestors were Lails - Lail being the anglicized form of the German name Lagel. My German ancestor was a Karsner (i.e. Kirschner) and his wife was a Lail. They were both captured by Shawnees at Ruddle's Station. I think she was in captivity longer than he was.

  55. Vicki, That is so fascinating about your family history! The very stuff I research so passionately:) The Shawnee captivity stories are so interesting. I recently was contacted by a direct descendent of Stephen Ruddell who'd read my books. That was a special moment for me. Anyway, to answer your thoughtful question... I'm not sure where I pulled the name Lael from originally but I've always liked it. My version is from the Hebrew and means "belonging to God" which dovetails with her spiritual journey in the novel. I didn't realize this till the book went to print. Usually I research character names ahead of time. So interesting about the German version of the name - very pretty however it's spelled! I took Lael's middle and last names (Catherine Click) from my own family, my paternal grandmother in particular. As an author it's fun to borrow from personal family history. I wish I'd had a family member of two captured by Shawnee like you do as that family history is so rich (and traumatic, as I'm sure they'd tell us if they lived today). Am glad your relatives survived captivity. I'd love to hear the rest of their stories!

  56. Vicki, I just read your other comment here... First, bless you for reading TFD!! I love my Kentucky readers and you have strong roots:) My grandmother was also involved in DAR but she's since passed away. History sounds like your mom's cup of tea! Interestingly, the family series I am working on now is set in Lancaster, PA. The area is so rich - like mining a historical treasure trove without end! KY and PA are similar in so many ways but Lancaster and PA are dear to me because it played such a part in western expansion and the birth of the American longrifle, etc.

    I wonder if your brother likes Seattle. I am definitely a fish out of water here and my dream is to return home to KY. Very wet though beautiful if you like lots of water and the mountains. Anyway, I wish you a very merry Christmas! Please stay in touch! I'll resume blogging the first of January...