Shannon here: Lynne Basham Tagawa shares her inspiration for her latest Historical Romance, The Widow’s Cloak: A Russell Family Novella. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of a digital or print copy. Deadline: May 6th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Lynne:
Have you ever met someone in passing and wished you could get to know them better? Perhaps she had a strange accent. Or he had a mysterious scar.
What has happened to them? Where are they from?
These are the questions I meant to answer when I wrote The Widow’s Cloak. In the second installment of my eighteenth-century historical fiction series, the Russells, I introduce a couple of side characters, Iain and Mary.
Iain is an indentured servant who comes to work for the Russells. We know he’s a highland Scot but not much more. Mary is the wife of one of the bad guys in the series, Simon McKee. But in my head, they had backstories. They weren’t just cardboard people.
And I decided they deserved for their story to be told. A story that ends with them together, healed—by God’s grace—of all their wounds.
Iain’s father was killed in the Battle of Culloden, and Iain is captured and transported to the colonies. He is forced to labor in bondage for seven years, the standard term of contract for a prisoner. Mary is likewise an indentured servant. Her contract is purchased by a family in the Shenandoah Valley, but not before her first master takes advantage of her.
While Iain deals with bitterness, Mary wrestles with guilt and shame. We would call it rape. Now she’s pregnant, and she doesn’t know what to think. A young man, Simon McKee, offers marriage, and she accepts, and at first things go well.
Simon McKee begins to drink. The family suffers. Mary’s heart grows fences. She decides that she needs to become economically independent somehow. She can’t ever fall into the trap of needing a man again.
Iain longs to help Mary—to cherish her and make her his wife. Even if she learns to trust him, she also must find peace with her past—and peace with God.
To me, this is the ultimate in love. Romantic love can be self-focused. But when that romance fuses with that self-denying godly love, that makes my heart flutter!
Excerpt from The Widow’s Cloak by Lynne Basham Tagawa:
The sight of Mrs. Borden’s new babe in her mother’s arms brought a flush to Mary’s face. The borrowed clothing she wore swallowed up her slim form, disguising her own growing bulge. For her a baby was not a joy.
The oversized clothing was Mrs. Borden’s idea. “I dinna like deceit,” she’d said. “But I want you to hear the Word preached, and for now, ’twill be easy enough to hide your situation.” She harrumphed. “’Twas not your fault, I’m sure!”
How the woman presumed to know her innocence was a mystery, but Mary’d overheard the Bordens discussing Mr. Byrd once.
“Just like his father, I’m sure…” Mr. Borden had said.
His wife clucked in agreement. They didn’t approve of the man.
Mrs. Borden slapped the reins against the horses’ rumps and they were off. They traveled in silence for several miles, and Mary lifted her face to enjoy the warmth of the sun. A last memory of summer spilled over the rolling countryside, banishing the autumn chill, and the guilt plaguing her ebbed away.
Question for Readers: Have you ever met someone in passing and wished you could get to know them better? What made you want to know them better?
About Lynne: Lynne Tagawa is a wife, mother, and grandma to five sweethearts. She’s an educator, editor, and author of an eighteenth-century historical fiction series, the Russells. She loves to include gospel truth in her stories. The Shenandoah Road, first in the series, was a Selah Awards finalist. Lynne loves good coffee and sugar-free treats. She and her husband live in South Texas. Learn more & connect:
Lynne’s Website Lynne’s Twitter Lynne’s Facebook
About the book – The Widow’s Cloak: A Russell Family Novella:
A prisoner alone in a land far from home…
A woman who has learned she must rely on herself…
Ian MacLeod loses his father in the bloody battle on Culloden moor. Captured, he is transported on a slave ship to serve an indenture of seven years. Now he struggles with bitter memories of a failed war and blames God. When his contract is sold, he meets a man with an elusive hope–and peace. And he meets a woman wearing the Campbell tartan—the colors of the enemy, a woman seemingly beyond reach.
Mary Pickens’s contract is sold when the evidence of her master’s unwanted attentions appears. In the Shenandoah Valley she hears of God’s forgiveness, but in the eyes of the world, Mary’s newborn son will be despised as illegitimate. When handsome Simon McKee proposes, she gladly agrees, never dreaming what will happen next.
Ian would shelter Mary if he could. Even if she were free to wed him, she has suffered many betrayals. How could he ever convince her to trust him with her hand and heart?
Book 2.5 in the Russell family series, this novella spotlights the story of two characters mentioned in The Heart of Courage: A Novel of the French and Indian War.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Lynne’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now!
The Widows Cloak – Russell Novella Lynne’s Books
Come back April 28th for Donna Schlachter!
Shannon Vannatter says
Hey Lynne, thanks for being here. I’ve met people in passing and wanted to get to know them better several times. Usually because they were interesting, funny, or a Christian.
Shannon Vannatter says
I have a winner! Connie Porter Saunders won the drawing. I appreciate Lynne for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.