Today, I’m bringing you author and musician Lori Crane, here to talk about her latest work of historical fiction: Elly Hays. There are giveaways, too, so check this out!
by Lori Crane
My name is Lori Crane and I write historical fiction. (It sounds like I’m attending a Writers Anonymous meeting.) This week, I’m celebrating the release of the third book in the Okatibbee Creek series, ELLY HAYS.Writing the genre that I do, I’m always asked two questions. 1) How much of your work is fact? That’s easy. All of the names, places, and dates are real. Only the characters personalities and conversations are made up, for we can never know for sure how their day-to-day lives unfolded. 2) Why do you write historical fiction? This question takes a little more effort to answer.
I grew up without my father, and the older I became the more I hungered for a sense of belonging, so I began my lifelong hobby of genealogical research. The quest for family roots resulted in my first book, OKATIBBEE CREEK. The heroine, Mary Ann, was my third great grandmother. As I researched her, I found she had lost an unbelievable seventeen family members in a one-year period during the Civil War—including her husband, both parents, and her one-year-old son. I couldn’t wrap my head around that kind of heartache and quickly became impressed with the sheer amount of strength she must have possessed.
Then I ran across her niece, Ellen, who was orphaned at the same time. This became the book, AN ORPHAN’S HEART. I found Ellen had been moved from family to family and finally ended up in Texas. She had one daughter, Lee, who died in 1985. I ended up speaking with Lee’s granddaughter on the phone, who is seventy five-years-old and living in Texas, and after I spoke with her, I knew I had to write Ellen’s story. I was amazed that Ellen and Lee spanned our nation’s history from the Civil War to relatively recently.
I went back in time to find the source of strength for these women, and this became my new book, ELLY HAYS. Elly was Mary Ann’s grandmother, my fifth great grandmother. She moved to Alabama during the War of 1812, at the same time the Creek Indian Nation was in a civil war. The Creeks were not only fighting among themselves, but they were not happy about pioneer families moving onto tribal land. In Elly’s case, they killed her animals, destroyed her crops, and the final straw, burned down her house and everything in it. Elly must have been a brave and amazing woman not only to endure that kind of torment, but to fight back to protect her children. And fight back she did.
ELLY HAYS is the story of a fearless warrior with nothing to lose and a young mother on the verge of losing everything.
As I continue to trace my roots, I’m sure I will find more amazing women, and undoubtedly the Okatibbee Creek series will grow. The series is a collection of stories about the strong women of our American past. These are the real-life stories of my grandmothers, aunts, and cousins, but if your family has long been in the United States, these stories could be about your female ancestors—the women who fought for us, for our safety, our lives, and our freedom, and who sacrificed everything with the depth of their love and astounding bravery.
1. EBOOK! Every comment on this post during the Elly Hays book tour (Nov 4-16) will be entered to win an eBook of the 1st or 2nd book in the Okatibbee Creek series, OKATIBBEE CREEK or AN ORPHAN’S HEART. Your choice of Kindle or Nook. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be posted here in the comments onNovember 17, 2013. Visit each stop of the tour to increase your chances. An eBook will be given away at each stop. Tour schedule is posted atwww.LoriCraneAuthor.com.
2. $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! If you sign up for Lori’s newsletter by November 16th, you will be entered into the drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. One winner will be chosen. Prize will be delivered by email. Winner will be announced in the newsletter on November 18, 2013. Sign up atwww.LoriCraneAuthor.com.