During a book-signing this past December, I was snooping around the bookstore where my work was being featured. Right next to my book was another Roman fiction book, and it turned out that the author lived in my area.
Who knew? Another Roman history geek, just like me, lived nearby! Since that day, she and I have had lunch several times, discussed our work, and this past week, I was able to support her by attending the book launch of her new novel.
So whenever I find new authors who are writing in a similar time period as I am, I get a charge of excitement. Such is the case with the excerpt I'm sharing this week. Lindsey S. Fera is writing about early America, as am I. Allow me to give an especially warm welcome to her--and her book: Muskets & Minuets.
Huzzah-- and Read on, everybody!
Excerpt from Muskets & Minuets
By Lindsey S. Fera
The sky over Boston faded to twilight, and Jack stood with Oliver on the dock at South Battery with their travel trunks. The town seemed almost deserted, save for a couple of sailors’ wives lurking nearby. Rather than follow Ollie to Aunt Catherine’s coach parked in Milk-street, Jack approached one of the women.
“Pray tell, madam, where are all the gentlemen?”
The lady regarded him with desperation. “Sir, they’re at the body of the people.”
Jack turned his head. “Which meetinghouse?”
“Old South,” the woman replied. “They’ve been debating the tea tax all day. They are awaiting Mr. Rotch’s return from Milton. He’s paid Governor Hutchinson a visit.”
“Thank you, madam.” Jack faced Oliver. “Shall we venture to the meeting?”
Oliver groaned. “Are you daft? You’ll have me attend some town meeting after I’ve endured an eight-week crossing of the Atlantic? I’d like a nice brandy and the comforts of Aunt Catherine’s fire. If you wish to attend, you’ll have to go without me.” He followed Mr. Scott and Mr. Henley, their aunt’s coachmen, who hauled their trunks.
Jack called after him, “Tell Aunt I’ll return when the meeting’s adjourned.” With a steady pace, he marched up Milk-street to Old South Meetinghouse.
A group of men, assembled in the doorway and outside of the large brick building, pushed their way inside.
“Good sirs, I beg your pardon—”
“Come, come. Mr. Rotch has just arrived.” A man ushered Jack into the crowded meetinghouse.
The great hall smelled of musk and oak, and every pew and balcony seat occupied. Shouts and ravings echoed off the white walls with clamor.
At the pulpit, Mr. Salvage, with stern countenance, rapped his gavel. “Silence, silence. Let Mr. Rotch speak.”
Samuel Adams stood, and the assembly dulled to murmurs. “Mr. Rotch, what say you of the governor? Will Hutchinson allow you to send your ships back to London with their cargo?”
Though Jack stood in the back he noticed Dr. Warren in a pew near the front. The doctor’s face distorted and his brows furrowed.
Mr. Rotch walked before the assembly, his shoulders rounded and face sullen. With fumbling hands, he gripped his hat. “Hutchinson has…denied…the request.”
An eruption of hisses and “fies” heated the meetinghouse, drowning out the force of Salvage’s gavel.
A man shouted, “Who knows how tea mingles with sea water?”
“Boston Harbor, a teapot tonight!”
They mean to destroy the tea. But how can they enact such a scandalous plot?
“Gentlemen.” Samuel Adams’ voice rose above the jeers. “Gentlemen, please. At midnight, we must pay the levy. We’ve appealed to Hutchinson now for twenty days. There is nothing else we can do to save the country.”
“Mohawks are coming,” a voice called from the balcony.
“To Griffin’s Wharf.”
Jack followed the hoard of men outside. The cold, salty air nipped his face. He held onto his hat and weaved through the crowd. Frantic, he sought anyone willing to make eye contact.
“What is happening? Where are we going?”
A man in his middle thirties paused before entering a brick rowhouse. He looked both ways and pulled Jack aside. “We’re headed to Griffin’s Wharf. We’re operating with the Sons of Liberty.”
All About Muskets & Minuets
Love. Politics. War. Amidst mounting tensions between the British crown and the American colonists of Boston, Annalisa Howlett struggles with her identity and purpose as a woman. Rather than concern herself with proper womanly duties, like learning to dance a minuet or chasing after the eligible and charming Jack Perkins, Annalisa prefers the company of her brother, George, and her beloved musket, Bixby. She intends to join the rebellion, but as complications in her personal life intensify, and the colonies inch closer to war with England, everything Annalisa thought about her world and womanhood are transformed forever. Join Annalisa on her journey to discover what it truly means to be a woman in the 18th century, all set against the backdrop of some of the most pivotal moments in American history.
A born and bred New Englander, Lindsey hails from the North Shore of Boston. A member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets and Minuets. When she's not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she's nursing patients back to health in the ICU.
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