6Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LOUISE M. GOUGE, an award-winning Florida author, writes historical fiction, calling her stories “threads of grace woven through time.” In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. Married to David Gouge for forty-six years, Louise is a mother of four and grandmother of six. In addition to writing, she teaches English and humanities at Valencia Community College in Kissimmee, Florida.
AT THE CAPTAIN'S COMMAND
by Louise M. Gouge
Published by Love Inspired Historicals
ABOUT THE BOOK
A heroic British naval captain, son of an influential earl, dares to fall in love with a provincial American girl. Then he discovers her family's devastating secret.
Loyal to the British Crown, orphaned Dinah Templeton has vowed never to marry a seafaring man, for her father died at sea and her merchant captain brother is always away. But when Captain Thomas Moberly sails into St. Augustine to defend the East Florida shores from American pirates, Dinah finds that her heart may overrule her head regarding this seafarer. Captain Thomas Moberly, captain of HMS Dauntless, has been assigned to capture the notorious American pirate Nighthawk, who plagues the Atlantic coast of East Florida. War-weary and hoping for a refreshing visit with his brother and sister, who live near St. Augustine, Thomas never expects to find love. But how can he resist the lovely Miss Templeton, even though she is what his father, Lord Bennington, would call a common American?
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AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR
My latest book brings with its release a feeling of nostalgia for me. At The Captain’s Command is the third and final book in my British East Florida Revolutionary War series. I loved researching this story in the St. Augustine Historical Society library and in the streets of our nation’s Oldest City. This little piece of history is not well-known. Even many Floridians don’t know that Florida belonged to England from 1763 – 1783 or that this colony provided a place of refuge for American colonists who were loyal to the Crown. Not only did I have great fun researching the background, but I also had fun looking at the conflict between the Patriots and Loyalists.
In the first two books (Love Thine Enemy, 2009, and The Captain’s Lady, 2010), my heroes and heroines are on opposite side in the war, which is a great conflict for any story. For this third book, however, I was presented with a delightful challenge to write entirely from the Loyalist point of view for both heroine and hero. Me, a flag-waving American who’s more than a little proud of my Patriot ancestors! But the emotional distance created by over two hundred and thirty years (and the fact that England is now America’s best friend in the world community – not to mention how crazy we Americans are about the upcoming royal wedding) helped me imagine how the Loyalists would have felt in 1780.
These people had to flee their homes in the northern colonies to avoid persecution and even death at the hands of the Patriots. Their crime was believing that the king was their God-given authority. Oh, sure, many people were motivated by politics and greed, but my characters are humbler folk, much like you and me. They had never known anything other than rule by a distant monarch. Or, in the case of my hero, service to that monarch as a captain in His Majesty’s Royal Navy.
And so, my conflict between hero and heroine, both related by marriage to my previous two heroes and heroines, had do be different. Dinah, my Loyalist, has lived in St. Augustine since early in the war, having fled there with her foster sister and the sister’s disagreeable husband. I didn’t want this to be a Cinderella story, so I gave Dinah a modest inheritance. Because she is an orphan whose father died at sea and whose brother is a merchant captain, she has vowed never to marry a seafaring man, who will only abandon her as they did.
Enter Captain Thomas Moberly, a seafaring British war hero who has come to St. Augustine to defend the coast against American pirates. Thomas has vowed never to marry an American, as his sister and brother have done, because their father, Lord Bennington disapproved so violently of those marriages. But Bennington has died, and Thomas is chafing against his failure ever to receive his father’s approval.
And then Thomas meets beautiful Dinah. And Dinah meets dashing Thomas. And the rest is...well, maybe not history, but their story.
So why am I feeling nostalgic as I leave this story, this era behind? Well, I guess it’s just like all of my previous series. I fell in love my characters and have greatly enjoyed the journey we’ve taken together. I will miss these people with whom I’ve spent several years of my life!
My one consolation is that I have another story coming out in June 2011 that moves on to the next generation. The Gentleman Takes a Bride tells the story of Thomas and Dinah’s youngest daughter and the man she comes to love during the Regency period. But I’ll tell you about that another day.
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Thank you, Louise, for sharing with us today.
Guest Question: Writers of historical fiction have two responsibilities: create compelling characters and place them in an accurately portrayed historical setting. We often struggle not to overwhelm our readers with details of how people used to live, but sometimes obscure facts are necessary to the story. So here are two questions for readers.
How much historical detail (I like to call these golden nuggets of the past) do you like to discover in your reading? Or do you prefer to imagine all that and just get on with the story of the heroine and her hero?
ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.
This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.
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