Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Review of Not Bound by Blood

not_bound_by_bloodIntriguing and Inspirational

In this Historical fiction novel, two strong-willed women form a strong friendship in high school. Their lives twist and turn in different directions for several years, then their bond is tested by an unexpected event.

The point of view switches between Blanche and Miriam in separate chapters, making their stories easy to follow. Ingram’s tight writing style makes for a fast paced, enjoyable read. One slightly explicit sex scene and one suggestive, but neither were overdone.

Purchase Here

Back Cover

In a friendship forged in high school days, solemn athletic Miriam Meyer and flamboyant actress Blanche LaRue seem as different as apples and kumquats.

After winning an Olympic Gold Medal while still a teenager, a plane crash forces Miriam to give up her dream of a repeat performance. She marries and settles for small-town life as the wife of her banker husband, Brad Hammond.

Blanche disposes of anything that will come in the way of achieving her goal, even husband and child. Her career carries her into the European war scene. An enamored Count Romano Vicente comes to rescue her.

Although continents sometimes separate the friends, their strong bond of friendship remains.

Who is Gay Ingram? (From Amazon Author Page)

Gay Ingram writes from her cabin in the piney woods of East Texas. For over twenty-five years she has been entertaining and informing readers either through her novels or by way of articles published in magazines such as Writer’s Journal, BackHome and The Herb Companion. Recently introduced to blogging, she now contributes a blog to http://www.venturegalleries.com and posts twice-weekly on her own blog, Comparing Oranges and Apples, at http://www.gayingram.blogspot.com.

Contact Gay




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

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!