The Spruce Gum Box
A Family Forged by Adversity.
A Community United by Dreams.
Addie loved to run along the river’s edge so the wind could blow through her long hair, released from the strict bun her father demanded. When Jed returned from the lumber harvest in the spring, she would fly into his arms, releasing her pent-up passion from its winter prison. Little did they know their forbidden love would set in motion a series of events that would forever change their lives and make Jed a fugitive.
With a bounty on his head and his infant son hidden beneath his coat, Jed turned to the only man he felt he could trust—the leader of a nearby Micmac Indian settlement. The unlikely partnership that ensued defied all odds, overcoming bigotry, betrayal, and the unforgiving 1820s Maine wilderness, to stake a claim on the primitive New England landscape.
As the strife escalated between Great Britain and the United States over the border of Maine and the rights to its lucrative lumber industry, determination to survive and create a life for his young son drove Jed into uncharted territory and perilous adventure.
Maine Historical Fiction 1844-1865
In Granite Hearts, sequel to The Spruce Gum Box, Sean and Gert Ryan set forth from the familiar comfort of their Aroostook River homeland in Maine to begin life anew along the Penobscot. Naïve newlyweds, wide-eyed with fanciful future hopes and dreams, they leave tranquil Smytheville to settle near bustling Bangor, the mid 1800’s lumber capital of the world. In time their bright future faces clouds of uncertainty.
Nana Hodge embraces the couple with her sheltering wisdom but can’t protect the growing family from escalating bigotry and impending tragedy. Sean’s Micmac Indian roots spawn dangerous conflicts on the jobsite of Fort Knox being built to protect Bangor from possible British re-occupation. Though Gert raises their family to respect others, many choose not to return that respect. Despite this, she grows strong fighting injustice towards the Penobscot Indian Nation, treading the dangerous shadows of the Underground Railroad, while growing as a woman within the suffragette movement.
Unfortunately, Sean’s quest to provide the best for his family ultimately leads to their neglect and eventually strains the marriage. As his personal troubles devour him, Sean and Gert’s union begins to fracture, not having the strength of the beloved granite which he chisels at the Fort. In time, their two eldest sons leave home to fight alongside Joshua Chamberlain and the Maine 20th in the War Between the States. And thus, the Ryan family must endure even more sacrifice.
As a senior that never gave up on her dream of finding time to write a novel, I launched The Spruce Gum Box in 2010 on my 72nd birthday. The sequel Granite Hearts should release spring 2012 with another great launch party on my 74th. I have been asked if this is part of my bucket list. Hardly. Rather, writing historical fiction was the beginning of a new world for me, one that helped me decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Whenever an opportunity arises, I spread the word of aging with abandon where age is just a number with a positive attitude.
My husband of 52 years and I relocated from Maine to PA, settling in an active senior community. (No snow shoveling!). Here, I have been able to brush my stories with the color of years of experiences – good and bad. This has in no way taken away our need to escape occasionally to the salt air of the Maine coast, lobsters and fried clams.
I am also involved with playing hand bells and directing a senior chorus. First and foremost will always be my family, grandchildren and of course Smokey the cat.
"Granite Hearts" & "The Spruce Gum Box" and hundreds of other indie published ebooks are included in the IAN Christmas Kindle Giveaway! For contest info and to enter to win a Kindle Fire HD CLICK HERE