Tag Archives: Daughters of the American Revolution

Literary Titan Gold Medal Winner!

literary_titan_gold_award

literary_titan_gold_awardThe Gold Award is bestowed on books that we found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written novels

Five-Star Review    

fleeing_the_shadowsFleeing the Shadows is a satisfying follow-up in the continuing Dangerous Loyalties series by Phyllis A. Still. Continuing only days after the events of the previous Defiance on Indian Creek, we are swept away as our brave, thirteen-year-old heroine, Mary Shirley, must flee with her family deeper into the Kentucky frontier. They seek to escape the British loyalists who dog their every step, but as they run farther from colonial territory proper, the family finds themselves in equal peril and at the mercy of Native American braves. Mary’s Papa relies on her to do what is right and help protect their family.

Having read the previous book in the series, this was a welcome return to the world of Dangerous Loyalties. Still has a great YA voice that carries the reader away with her pages. The novel has a faster pace to it, considering the family is always running from something and danger seems to lurk around every bend. For a historical YA novel, Still does not hold back on making sure that we feel the desperation of the family in every chapter. This anxiety is only enhanced as the family drives deeper into the wild unknown North American frontier.

Still keeps the reader much more on the edge of our seat with this narrative, because the stakes or that much higher. If the first could be called a ‘slow burn’, this can be called a ‘flash fire’. The story rips right off the page. The setting of the summer of 1775 keeps the historical urgency matching the urgency of this very personal story, but the overarching nationwide feelings are much more muted in this second book of the series by virtue of the very present danger. At times the narrative leans on the setup of the previous too much to be a true standalone narrative, but as a second book it works perfectly well enough.

Mary continues to carry the bulk of the family’s worries as her Papa makes increasingly difficult and sometimes questionable decisions of what they should do, while running from the loyalists, even while Indians shadow their every step. Mary is still dealing with the emotional turmoil after delivering the dispatches and her Papa only makes this worse. Overall, Fleeing the Shadows is a stirring, nail-biter of a read and will be sure to please fans of the first book of the series.

Read My Interview with Literary Titan

Click Here

 

 

A Whole New Side of the American Revolution

frontier_cabin

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!