She Blames Herself for the Bounty on Papa’s Head



fleeing_the_shadows Fleeing the Shadows (Dangerous Loyalties Book Two) 

The fictional account of Daughters of the American Revolution patriot, Mary Shirley McGuire continues in this fast-paced novel.

It’s late summer 1775 in the Alleghany Highlands. Thirteen-year-old Mary Shirley is still recovering from emotional wounds inflicted when she risked her life delivering traitorous dispatches. She trusted the wrong men, and now the family must flee Indian Creek to stay ahead of British Loyalists who seek her papa’s life.

But they can’t risk being captured by taking the main road to Daniel Boone’s trail that leads into Kentucky territory. They must endure the more dangerous and grueling hunters’ path that leads to rough frontier forts along the Clinch River. Passions are ignited, friendships are formed, and shocking lessons are learned.

Mary’s emotional trauma worsens with each step. Once they cross the Cumberland Gap, they’re at the mercy of God and the Chickamauga Cherokee to make it to Fort Boonesborough alive.


I Am Officially an Award-Winning Author

“I am officially an Award-Winning Author!” I have to keep telling myself this so I’ll believe it.

A while ago, I paid for Hungry Monster’s Review Service plus the cost of my eBook so the review would show as a verified purchase on Amazon.

“But it doesn’t count if you pay for it!” Some would say.

I kind of thought that too, until I went to their FAQ page and read. The main two questions I needed answered were: Who are these reviewers and am I guaranteed a five-star review?

The answers given, set my mind at ease. I especially liked the statement, “All reviewers associated with the Hungry Monster have a deep passion for books, have a college degree and are professional writers and editors.” And concerning the guarantee: “Absolutely not. All the reviews posted on this site are an honest opinion of any work submitted. The fee goes toward paying the reviewer for their time and maintenance on the site. It in no way pays for a positive review.”

I received a four-star review—my first. But the reviewer did, indeed, give a knowledgeable and professional review. Their only issue: “If there is any criticism for the book that can be offered it would be for something that is almost uncontrollable. It concerns the background conflict between the Colonies and the Crown. This is what gives historical fiction its flavor, but it does overshadow the very personal, family struggle between Mary and her father. This is the only real issue with the storyline, beyond this Defiance on Indian Creek will be a pleasurable read to any person who enjoys YA and a painstakingly researched historical fiction.”

I did chuckle a bit at this and wonder how one removes the historic subplot in a historical fiction series set during the pre-American Revolutionary frontier—and then I moved on.

When I received my Silver Literary Award, I went from elated to doubting. I went to the website and sure enough other books reviewed during the month had received three stars.

I highly recommend Hungry Monster’s affordable review service. Check them out!

Defiance on Indian Creek-Literary Titan Review


defiance_on_indian_creekI received an awesome four star review from Literary Titan. If you haven’t heard of them check out my review below. I’m pleased with their professionalism.

Defiance on Indian Creek is a quiet, but enthralling read by Phyllis A. Still. We follow a smart, courageous thirteen-year-old girl, Mary on the frontier in West Virginia on the eve of the Revolutionary war. Her father comes home with news that disrupts Mary’s world; talk of loyalty to the unfair King and moving to far off Kentucky. The relationship with her father is stretched as she finds him mired in plots and implications of possibly being a traitor or even a spy. Mary is forced of her own loyalties to her father, family and country as the weeks go on until she is asked to make an impossible choice.

Overall, Still has clearly done her research in this fine YA novel. In the tradition of historical fiction before it, Defiance on Indian Creek takes a quiet frontier family and throws them in the forefront against an increasingly dangerous time. Reading these pages gave me the feeling I was actually there in the reeds of Indian Creek alongside Mary and her Papa. The maps included at the front of the book were helpful in understanding the setting and getting even more of a feel of what this era felt to those early colonists.

It isn’t often such a tale is spun on the frontier, but also invokes the greater happenings on the east coast. Mary is a fun protagonist to follow as the story progresses, because Still is able to give the reader the feeling of anguish from the girl and her struggles over choosing to place trust in her father and the lack thereof.

Being a YA novel the story itself is pretty straightforward and does not beat around the bush when it comes to finding out certain things. Mary herself seems to grasp things beyond her years, but her parents are not the usual inept adults that are so often present in YA novels. And being a young girl, who genuinely wants her father to be okay and her family to be safe, the reader can only root for her.

There are few books that I could remember for the relationships it creates between characters, but Still has managed to make the daughter-father relationship in this book a special one. Especially, since the tension between them is so palpable as the book goes on.

If there is any criticism for the book that can be offered it would be for something that is almost uncontrollable. It concerns the background conflict between the Colonies and the Crown. This is what gives historical fiction its flavor, but it does overshadow the very personal, family struggle between Mary and her father. This is the only real issue with the storyline, beyond this Defiance on Indian Creek will be a pleasurable read to any person who enjoys YA and a painstakingly researched historical fiction.

Source: Defiance on Indian Creek

One Lovely Blog Award

It’s such an honor to be nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award (origin unknown) by the talented author, writer, and blogger, Patty Wiseman.


When I first met Patty at the East Texas Writers Association meeting, she immediately offered her friendship and support. She has a heart for mentoring new authors and a genuine desire to encourage women to reach their full potential. I’m bless to have her friendship and look forward to learning more from her.

About Patty: (From her website) Patty writes clean, fiction stories about the challenges women have faced in the past and continue to face today. The characters are in the throes of a time of transition, struggling to maintain their own identity or simply dealing with the unexpected events that life throws at them. Her published and future novels cover a variety of genres—from her love of stories that inspire and encourage, to those suspenseful dramas that keep you on the edge of your seat, and adventurous journeys of those who have overcome society’s constraints. Go to Patty’s inspirational website to learn more.


  1. When you get this award,
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
  3. Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
  4. Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio
  5. Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
  6. Include this set of rules
  7. Inform your nominees




Before I knew there was a name for turning cartwheels, hand-springing, and flipping over Monkey Bars—I was that kid. I also loved to swing as high as I could, let go, and FLY. My favorite place was in the highest tree I could climb, until I reached the precipice that swayed to-and-fro while I enjoyed the view and the solitude. My fourteenth year landed me in the boot hill of Missouri where I discovered Gymnastics. The gym became my retreat and an outlet for my need to conquer a task. I grew confident and my coaches became my family.



I asked my grandmother if we were related to anyone famous. She said Robert E. Lee might have been her grandmother’s cousin but she didn’t really know. That’s when I became interested in the family history. There are multiple people with a Lee ancestor they wish to connect to this Lee family. I’m six generations down from Ann Talitha Lee who was the daughter of Madison County Kentucky’s Richard Lee. This Richard Lee had been proven NOT to be of the same DNA male line to the exclusive Lee’s of Virginia. However, due to the multiple cousin marriages in my grandmother’s family, the connection could be in an untraceable female line. Thanks to my uncle, who is the last to carry Ann Lee’s maternal DNA, we at least have proof when/if her mother can be proved. Oh, well. Being interested in this connection led me to discover Ann’s mother-in-law, Mary Shirley McGuire. *Smiles*

My Silhouette shining the light.

My Silhouette shining the light.


My husband and I like to travel. One year we went to San Ignacio, Belize and accepted a tour from a local guide to Barton Creek Cave accessible only by canoe. I held a large flashlight at the front of the canoe as we ducked beneath the low hanging ceiling.




My fascination with the sky began at the age of four or five. I love a blue sky with fluffy white clouds sailing by. I love a clear view of infinite stars at night. I like sunsets better than sunrises.



5.  I LOVE APPLE FRITTERS and hate plain yucky glazed donuts.



Picket FenceI had to keep up with my big brother or he’d leave me out of things—like climbing a tree by the age of five, walking a fence rail, and soldier crawling. This determination has played a crucial role in my life from marriage, writing, and refusing to give up.





It doesn’t have meblood-75301_640

I almost passed out at work and my chest felt tight. The ER internist showed me my labs—freaking out. He said, “You have thick blood. Why is your blood so thick?” I took myself to an Internal Medicine Dr. who referred me to a Hematologist. I have Polycythemia (bone marrow makes too many abnormal red blood cells) translation—I take baby aspirin every day and have therapeutic phlebotomies every three months to prevent having a stroke. However, this causes low energy levels. Sheer determination keeps me going some days. I mention this, to encourage everyone with chronic health conditions to keep living and be strong!


Dawn Husted: Young Adult Fiction Author

Interview with Drummer


Drummer, is the Shirley family’s lovable dog and a beloved secondary character from Defiance on Indian Creek. I thought his fans might enjoy learning more about him. I had to coax him out from under the porch with the fatty pieces of my steak.

He licked his lips and sat in front of me.

Thank you for coming out to talk to me, Drummer.


  1. Where did you come from? Papa acquired me from my litter after I kept following him around, watching him claw trees with his paw tool.
  2. Why were you named Drummer and by whom? Papa told Momma my name was Drummer when he brought me to his den. He said every time he took a break from clawing a tree to stroke my fur and talk to me, my tail tapped the ground like a drum.
  3. How old are you in human years? I think four.
  4. How old was Mary when you joined the Shirley pack? She had whispered in my ear that she had just turned 9 and I was her present.
  5. What is your favorite activity? I love to flush rabbits from their holes.
  6. What is your favorite food? Meat scraps and bones, but a tasty treat is the blood drippings.
  7. Are you allowed to go on adventures alone? No. I tried that a couple of times, and Papa placed a rope around my neck both times and made me stay near a tree all day. I hated that.
  8. Who is pack leader when Papa is away? Mary, although sometime George thinks he is. I get away with sneaking off with him, though.
  9. Do you play with the youngest pack members? Yes, except the one called Sally who tries to ride me. The one called Charlie likes to wrestle with me. The others throw things and want me to bring the things back. I humor them until I’m bored.
  10. Did you ever hear an Indian gobble like a turkey? If so, how did you know? I heard a human try to sound like a turkey once, but the pitch was all wrong. They said something ugly that a turkey would never say.
  11. Did you worry about Mary when she and Rebel left without you? I wanted to go on an adventure with them but Papa told me to stay.
  12. Do you have a favorite game to play? I like to hide the things the small ones throw when they are in the den. They must find the things before they can make me play.
  13. What do you like to chase? Squirrels. I wait until they think I’m asleep under the porch, then I pounce out from behind the bush or wood stack.
  14. If you could speak what would you say and to whom? I’d ask Papa why he leaves me at the den sometimes instead of letting me trot beside his horse. I don’t know if I’ve been bad.
  15. Do you always nap under the porch? No. Sometimes I fall asleep under a bush waiting to pounce on squirrels.

Drummer stood and shook his body. “It’s time to go to the bushes. Maybe we can talk more another time?”

Yes. Thank you. We might have more questions before you leave on the long journey with your pack. Have a fun day.

He trotted to the bushes and scurried out of sight. The Shirley’s cabin door creaked open, so I removed the antique comb from my hair and returned to my office. I hope you enjoyed this brief insight into the life of the Shirley family through Drummer’s point-of-view.

Be Strong!


A Whole New Side of the American Revolution


frontier_cabinI’m pleased book one in the Dangerous Loyalties series, Defiance on Indian Creek, is being used by educators for use in Literary Arts and Social Studies curriculums.

As I researched Daughters of the American Revolution Patriots, Mary Shirley McGuire and her papa Michael Shirley, a whole new side of the American Revolution unfolded and begged to be shared—not as the usual fact, fact, fact but shown through tenacious thirteen-year-old Mary, who wants what all young adults want: friends, acceptance, and a peaceful future.

Research revealed that western land grants were at stake if Britain lost the war. Therefore, as early as 1775, Tories made covert attempts to retain control of the western frontier. British-encouraged Indian raids kept western frontier men defending their families and out of the Continental Army in the east. Allegheny settlers also dealt with shortages of supplies and falling tobacco prices due to boycotts of English goods. Most of the Tories fled the pro-independence Alleghenies—those who remained worked covertly to ally the various Indian tribes.

Mary’s fictional story draws readers into common emotional family issues, such as sibling rivalry, trust, faith, forgiveness, and loyalty. Mary is the eldest of eight children living in a small log cabin. She is bossy, prone to daydream, and makes rash judgments. Tension is balanced with humor as Mary interacts with her family through daily frontier life while they prepare for the move to Kentucky territory.

Defiance on Indian Creek is a clean Young Adult historical novel set along Indian Creek, in frontier Western Virginia. In 1775, Mary Shirley is a tenacious thirteen-year-old girl who desires friends her age and a peaceful future. Her papa wants to remain loyal to King George III and remove the family to Kentucky territory if war breaks out. Mary is worried. Papa’s covert activities are endangering the family, and Mary has grown ashamed of him. She wants to change his mind somehow. When he falls ill, he pleads with her to deliver lifesaving dispatches. Mary must decide if loyalty to Papa is more important than loyalty to the cause of freedom.

The multilayered story line allows educators to introduce students to a variety of discussion and research topics, some of which include the following:

  • Stereotyping
  • Slavery
  • Survival Skills
  • Frontier Education
  • Early Surveyor Equipment and Skills
  • Importance of the Borderlands
  • The French and Indian War
  • The Controversy of Lord Dunmore’s Role in the Battle of Point Pleasant
  • Compare Indian Leader Cornstalk’s Crossing of the Ohio River with George Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware River
  • The Role of Scouts in the American Revolution

Painstaking historical research, a study of story structure, as well as years of rewrites, have produced a quality product I’m proud to share with educators for inclusion in Literary Arts and Social Studies curriculums.

C. S. Lakin, award-winning author and book editor, says this about Defiance on Indian Creek: “This novel, so rich in historical description and accuracy, brings the era and locale to life through the eyes of young Mary Shirley. Young readers will be transported back to the American Revolution, riveted by the fears and dangers the characters face, while seeing how a life of honor and integrity is at the heart of patriotism, family, and hope for the future. I can think of few novels from my own years in elementary schools that could compare in quality of writing and storytelling. Phyllis A. Still’s novel is right up there with the books penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder and is just as memorable and enduring.”

My goal for this series is for young adults to be inspired by Mary’s story. Teens have always played a significant role in the events taking place around them and shared common desires for friends, acceptance, and a happy and prosperous future. History wouldn’t be boring if taught through the stories of the real men, women, and children—whose lives were changed forever.

This novel has been published by White Bird Publications and is distributed by Ingram. It sells as print on demand through all bookstores.

Thank you for sharing my book with your students.

Be Strong!

Another Addicted Reader

defiance_on_indian_creekDefiance on Indian Creek, continues to lure readers into the intriguing story of thirteen-year-old, Mary Shirley, who lived in western Virginia at the dawn of the American Revolution.

I received this sweet email from a new fan.

“I wanted to let you know that I started reading your book as soon as we got home. I read eight chapters before putting it down to go to bed. I was unable to sleep so decided to read a little more. I finally put it down after I read the complete book at 3:45 this morning 🙂 The book is wonderful and just the type I love to read. I am waiting on the next one to be published! I will be sure to urge my family, friends, and clients to purchase your book, leave a review and watch for new releases. I will be leaving reviews after Christmas. Thank you for such a great book that kept me wanting to keep reading and excited for the next one.”

The next one is Fleeing the Shadows (Dangerous Loyalties Book Two)

Unwritten Melody Blog Tour Stop



A warm East Texas welcome! 

I’m happy you stopped by for today’s blog tour featuring, Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall. 

After reading the story blurb and my review, click on the link to enter a chance to win her awesome prize pack! Learn about Tessa and follow her blog tour schedule to learn more about Unwritten Melody.

Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall


Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

Book Links:


My Review

Unwritten Melody by Tessa Emily Hall has a gentle pace, but a strong emotional impact that will inspire young adults to hold on to hope and follow their dreams.

Readers will be drawn to Cassie’s desire to break free from insecurities, live a normal teen life, and fulfill her dream—to write inspiring songs. However, her overprotective Grandma has kept Cassie on a tight leash too long. Cassie struggles to find the courage to stand up to her.

In walks James Russo, teen idol finalist on American Spotlight. Why has he enrolled as a student at Cassie’s small private school?

When a teacher pairs the two for a school project, painfully shy Cassie is sure Grandma will nullify the partnership and save her from humiliation. But sometimes God’s plans come with unexpected twists.

In this sweet Young Adult Romance secrets are uncovered, hearts break, but faith, hope, and love remain.

This story is a poignant reminder of how young people struggle to know their relevance and need those special someones to say FLY!


Never stop following your dreams Tessa! Thank you for allowing me to share in the release of Unwritten Melody

The Giveaway


Enter for your chance to win the Unwritten Melody Prize Pack! Two winners will be selected and announced on Tessa’s blog the final day of tour (Friday, December 9th) and will be notified via email.

This prize pack includes…

  • E-copy of Unwritten Melody
  • Signed paperback copy of Purple Moon
  • Unwritten Melody mug, filled with goodies
  • Unwritten Melody swag, including a bookmark, pen, and poster
  • Starbucks mocha flavored instant coffee
  • Free Unwritten Melody: Page-By-Page Secrets PDF
  • Handmade journal
  • Typewritten thank you note

*This giveaway is open to the US only.


About Tessa


Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, releases with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. Tessa also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her internship at Hartline Literary Agency.

When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.

Connect with Tessa

Follow the Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss the next blog tour stop! Be sure to visit the following blogs on its designated tour date. You can also email tessaemilyhall (at) gmail (dot) com and request to receive the Blog Tour Packet. At the end of the tour, Tessa will send you the downloadable PDF that will contain all of the content from each blog tour stop.

Tues., November 1 – Christ is Write

Wed., November 2 – Adriana Gabrielle Writes

Thurs., November 3 – The Depth of My Faith

Fri., November 4 – Sarah Ruut

Mon., November 7 – God is Love

Tues., November 8 – The Bibliophile Angel

Wed., November 9 – Emily Rachelle Writes

Thurs, November 10 – Word Changers For His Glory

Fri., November 11 – Christian Teen Book Reviews

Mon., November 14 – Phyllis Still

Tues., November 15 – In The Bookcase

Wed., November 16 – Girl Meets Publishing World

Thurs., November 17 – Anna Schaeffer

Fri., November 18 – Ramblings of a Writer

Mon., November 21 – Naomi and Books

Tues., November 22 – Reading is My Superpower

Wed., November 23 – Zerina Blossom’s Books

Thurs., November 24 – Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

Fri., November 25 – Labor Not in Vain

Mon., November 28 – Barbara Bruitt

Tues., November 29 – Katy Kauffman

Wed., November 30 – Jen Pheobus

Thurs., December 1 – Northern Belle Meg

Fri., December 2 – 2Me From Him

Mon., December 5 – Nicole Quigley

Tues., December 6 – The Destiny of One

Wed., December 7 – Catherine Castle

Thurs., December 8 – Rachelle Rea Cobb

Fri., December 9 – Leslie L. Mckee

Dragons of Jade: A Review and Author Promo

Clean YA Fantasy with a hint of Romance

Dragons of Jade by [Lauzier, Jean]Description:  There’s no such thing as dragons.
Of that, Jade Delaney was sure. She may not have known who she was or where she came from, but at least she had a plan for her future.

All that changes when a dragon summons her back to the world from which she came. There, she learns dragons are real, the truth of her birth, and just why she was abandoned as a toddler.

Now she must discover and stop whoever is killing the dragons, while avoiding the man who is hunting her.

Lovable Dragons?

My Review: I loved the dragons being in need of human help and calling Jade home to fulfill her real calling. The pace was slow at times, but the story and character depth kept my interest. I’m looking forward to book 2.

Orphaned as an infant, Jade sits in anatomy class, re-reading a note left to her by her mother. What do the words, “Even the dragon agrees,” mean? Jade doesn’t believe in dragons. After being confronted by her professor for wasting her potential, Jade considers her fate. As she approaches the building exist, a mysterious door appears with images and a choice to be made that will affect her future. But she doesn’t believe in dragons.

Dragons of Jade by Jean Lauzier will please dragon lovers as Jade embarks in a mission to protect and discover who is killing them. The mystery of her mother is discovered and an unexpected fate awaits her.

About Jean

Jean Lauzier

Jean Lauzier was born and raised in Arkansas but now lives in Longview, Texas with her husband and three teens.

When not writing you can find her talking to her bonsai plants, trying to train the cats or procrastinating on the computer.




Buy Dragons of Jade Here 


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