It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you reading?



This week, I read Shades of Honor by Wendy Lindstrom.




91DLpJR01ML._SL1500_I really, really enjoyed this book. It’s set post-Civil War, yet the only thing that really ties it to the time is the hero having trouble adjusting to post-war life. The rest is simply a rollicking good romance.

Radford Grayson returns home years after the war with hopes of joining his brothers in the family business and getting back to an easier way of life. The minor crisis of the story comes when his brother resents his return. The major crisis is when Radford falls in love with his brother’s fiancé…and she with him. I love books where you wonder how in the heck they will ever make this work, but it does, they do, and everything is shiny and happy in the end. This book is a great ride with fantastic characters, following a man’s desire for the one thing he can’t have.

The Grayson Brothers have their own ongoing series, so if you like the characters, you can follow this with other stories.

Visit Ms. Lindstrom’s website

Shades of Honor is available at Amazon

Saturday Snippets – I, John Culpepper

Culpepper_1My new book, I, John Culpepper, is now available!!

It is the first of four books in the Culpepper Saga and takes place during John’s youth. John was born into great wealth and prestige and got to do things and see things mere commoners would only dream about. When John was fourteen, his cousin, JC was knighted by His Royal Highness King James I, and John not only attended the ceremony, he also attended the joust afterwards.

Here’s what happened…


Trumpets sounded again, causing the spectators’ din to increase in pitch. Knights’ horses were usually escorted onto the field by a groom, but a massive black horse, its face covered with metal plate, galloped onto the tiltyard. On its back sat a knight clad in iron armor, sunlight glinting on his breastplate, making it look as if it had been polished for weeks just for today’s event. The crowd roared and rose to its feet as the black horse pranced back and forth, kicking up dust. The rider removed his helm and waved to the crowd. It was JC! John rose to his feet and cheered loudly for his cousin.

A second knight in full plate, riding a white horse, galloped toward the field. The crowd applauded even louder for this contestant, and John bobbed up and down on his tiptoes to see over the standing spectators. Who was this newcomer to receive more applause than his cousin? The horse was wearing plate on its face and chest, and its back was covered with a sapphire blue blanket. It was followed by a small donkey ridden by a squire carrying a standard and trying unsuccessfully to keep pace with the knight and his mighty horse. As the two approached the tiltyard, John saw the standard boasted the royal crest. It was the king!

The two opponents met each other in the middle of the tiltyard and tapped their lances together. JC nodded to the king and then pulled sharply on his horse’s reins. The massive beast stepped backward and curled one of his front legs beneath him in a regal bow. The spectators gave a collective roar of approval.


I, John Culpepper is available at Amazon.

The Culpepper Saga Facebook page contains photos and paintings of the houses and people in the series. Hop over and take a look.

52 Ancestors #17 John B Rice


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small, and this week’s theme is “Prosper.”

downloadMy 5th great grandpa was John B. Rice. I’m sure the B is for Benjamin as that was one of his son’s names. John was born in 1755 in Red Bud Creek, Bute County, North Carolina. In 1779 Bute County was divided into Franklin and Warren Counties and ceased to exist. John was born to Jared Rice and Lettie Potts. (My 2nd great grandmother’s name was Martha Lettie Carpenter. I always wondered where Lettie came from. Turns out it was her great grandmother’s name.) John signed up to serve in the American Revolution in 1776 at the age of 21 as a private and sergeant, and received a pension according to the North Carolinians list of pensioners as reported by the Secretary of State to Congress in 1835. He married Elizabeth Hopkins a year into the war and they had a total of eight children. By age 27, the family had moved to Nash County, NC, where John lived a long life and died on 29 April 1836, at the age of eighty-one.

last-will-and-testamentJohn’s will is as follows:

From Westbrook. FTW. Will: Probated August 1837. Page 443, Will Book I. It names wife: Elizabeth, Son: William, Dau: Nancy Carpenter. The following (no relationship given) have received their property: William Richardson, Hopkins Rice, Reden Richardson, William Earppe, Benjamin Rice. Grandson: Richardson, son of William Rice. Children of Benjamin Rice and their representatives: John B. Rice, Nicholson Rice, Boykin Rice, heirs of Jincy Strickland. Legatee: John Leonard. Ex: Benjamin Merritt, John Rice. Wit: William M.B. Anndell, Boykin Denton.

The above named daughter Nancy Rice Carpenter was my fourth great-grandmother who married Benjamin Carpenter. They moved to Lauderdale County, Mississippi in 1821 when Indian land was being sold by the U.S. Gov’t for cheap. She lived as a pioneer woman, raising ten children in near squalor. After reading the following story, I’m under the impression she either must have been rebelling against her family or she really, really loved Benjamin Carpenter.

I found the following somewhere on line:


Nash County, North Carolina 1787.

A black woman by the name of Chaney was born. Little is known about her background, but it is believed she was the daughter of an African. She and her sister were slaves of the Hopkins Family.

Peter Hopkins, born in 1730, was the first in his family to move to Edgecombe County, North Carolina. He married Wilmoth Fowler who was born in Wake County, North Carolina in 1747 to Joseph and Anne Fowler. The couple had the following children:

  1. William Hopkins
  2. John Hopkins
  3. David Hopkins
  4. Elizabeth Hopkins-Rice (the above wife of John Rice)
  5. Susannah Hopkins-Russell

Elizabeth married a Revolutionary War Hero named John Rice. The two purchased about 800 acres of land on Lee’s Creek. They had eight children as follows:

  1. John Rice Jr
  2. William Rice
  3. Elizabeth Rice-Richardson
  4. Nancy Rice-Carpenter (my 4th great-grandmother)
  5. Mary Rice-Marriott
  6. James M. Rice
  7. Benjamin Rice
  8. Hopkins Rice

Chaney was brought to this 800 acre plantation of John Rice and Elizabeth Hopkins Rice. Most of her children were born here. She had at least five children. In the early 1800’s, John Rice deeded Chaney and her children to his youngest son Hopkins Rice and his wife Jane.

In the early 1820’s Hopkins Rice and his family migrated to Greene County, Alabama and in 1828, they purchased land in the Clinton and Pleasant Ridge areas. Over the years, some of the slaves were sold to various plantations in the area. One of Chaney’s sons, Anderson, was sold to Eldred Pippen. Jesse was sold to Gaston Wilder of Pickens County, Alabama. Richard was sold to William Gilmore of Mantua. The last son, whose name is unknown, was sold to a Mr. Harkness. Her grandsons were also sold.


Nancy Rice-Carpenter is my 4th great-grandmother. Her parents, Elizabeth and John Rice are my 5th great-grandparents. Elizabeth’s parents Peter and Wilmoth Hopkins are my 6th. Though Nancy, being a girl, probably didn’t stand to inherit much of the family’s wealth, I still think it strange that she moved away from her obviously prosperous family.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

2a2It’s Monday! What are you Reading?



This week I read “Behind the Bar” by PC Zick.




81G7RBonO5L._SL1500_The first thing that came to mind while reading this story was the movie “The Breakfast Club” –except ten years later. The relationships are intricate and sometimes painful as there tends to be a lot of psychological baggage carried from teenage years into adulthood, especially when done in a group like these characters. Sometimes one must forgive and forget to move on, but in the case of Susie Williams, one must remember in the first place. Susie is a young woman who has blocked out a majority of her abusive childhood, until her friends help her piece the puzzle back together.

I absolutely loved these characters, especially Sally Jean, and the final conversation between Susie and Sally Jean literally brought tears to my eyes.

“Behind the Bar” is the second book in the “Behind the Love Trilogy.” If you start with this book, you’ll find the first few chapters move pretty fast, and you’ll have to figure out who everyone is, which I’m sure is explained in more detail in the first book. That being said, you can start with this book and catch up quickly, not feeling as if you’ve missed anything because this is a stand-alone story. I guarantee you will love this group of misfits and find yourself going back to the first in the series “Behind the Altar.” The third in the series, “Behind the Curtain,” will be released soon, and I can’t wait!

For those sensitive to adult language and situations, there is a little bit in this book, but not enough to curl your hair.

088eb14324190ad8956eff.L._V146807737_SX200_Check it out at Amazon!

Visit Ms. Zick’s website!

Saturday Snippet – I, John Culpepper

Culpepper_1My new book, I, John Culpepper, has been released!!

It is the story of young John Culpepper, whose only dream is to own a merchant ship. As you will see in the snippet below, his aristocratic father is not the most supportive. Some of the story occurs simultaneously with historical events we know well. The follow snippet happens on September 6, 1620.


Fourteen-year-old John stood on the banks of the Thames and stared at her. She was the most majestic creature he had ever seen. He admired her pear shape, her curved lines. From the beak of her prow to the tip of her stern, she must have been nearly one hundred feet in length. Three masts towered above her decks and her white sails billowed, straining against their ropes. Fluttering atop her mainmast, the red-and-white English flag proudly announced her pedigree. She rode the gentle waves toward the English Channel, sailing into the rising sun. Her sharp silhouette stood in contrast to the backdrop of a clouded pink-and-purple sky.

“What are you looking at, boy?” his father bellowed from the carriage.

He pointed at the river as he turned. “Look at the ship, Father!”

“Stop gawking and get over here and unhitch these horses.”

“Yes, sir,” John mumbled. He trudged back toward the carriage, wondering why there wasn’t a footman or stable boy to take care of the animals. He walked around to the other side of the horses and wrapped his fingers around one of the halters.

He peeked around the horse’s nose, watching his father march through the puddles as he crossed the road toward the inn. His father’s long black cloak billowed behind him, caught by an unexpected breeze. John looked up at the sky. Last night’s storm clouds were dissolving and large pockets of blue sky were beginning to show through. When he looked back at his father, the man’s shadow was walking beside him, just as formidable as the real man.

Thomas appeared by John’s side and plopped their father’s large trunk on the ground at John’s feet. The horse jumped and John quickly released the halter.

Thomas complained under his breath, “You’ll never learn, will you? That’s not one of our ships sailing for the Virginia Company. That’s a competitor’s ship. Father isn’t interested in that ship. As a matter of fact, Father has lost so much money investing in these expeditions, he’s not interested in any ships or your fascination with them.”

“How much money?”

“What?” Thomas asked from the back of the carriage, where he was now retrieving another trunk.

“How much money has he lost?”

“I don’t know exactly, but he’s been waiting for shipments of timber from Virginia that never arrived. He said the men who sailed there were too busy trying to survive to cut any trees. So, each time a ship returns empty, Father loses money.”

“But money aside, how can he not love them? All of them. They’re beautiful. Imagine where that ship is heading, sailing off to some enchanted seaport. Silk from the Orient, cotton and tobacco from the colonies. I can picture it coming ashore in Virginia, where one can view rolling land as far as the eye can see, so much land and it’s nearly free for the taking.” John turned to gaze again at the ship as it rounded the bend of the river. He took a step away from the horses so he could see her better, if only for the next few moments until she disappeared.

“Don’t admire that ship too fondly. She’s not going to the Orient. She’s called the Mayflower and she’s going to Plymouth.” Thomas looked at the ship. “And she’s not so grand. As a matter of fact, she’s rather old. She’s already crossed the ocean quite a few times.” He looked back at John. “And why are you talking about rolling land? You’ll never own land.” He laughed as John struggled with the horse’s buckles. “Father will leave everything to me. You will be sent to Middle Temple to be trained as a lawyer, and someday you will oversee my estates.”

John gave up on the buckles and marched toward his brother. “I don’t want to oversee your estates. Oversee them yourself.”


I, John Culpepper is available at Amazon.

Stop by the Culpepper Saga Facebook page to see more of the people and places of the series.

Here is my interview with Lori Crane

Lori Crane:

Interview with yours truly at “Author Interviews” with Fiona McVie. Check it out!

Originally posted on authorsinterviews:

2013-03-12 01.25.24-6

Name – Lori Crane

Age – fifty mumble

Where are you from? I’m originally from Mississippi, now live in Nashville.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I live in Nashville with my trophy husband and a menagerie of critters. I have two grown children, two horses, a donkey, a cow, twenty-two chickens, two geese, two ducks, one cat, one dog…and a partridge in a pear tree. I work nights as a professional musician and days as an indie author. I don’t sleep.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

April 2015, I released the first in the four-book Culpepper Saga, “I, John Culpepper.” It is the story of the real man historians refer to as John Culpepper the merchant who was born in 1606 in England. As a lad, he was trained to be a lawyer, but against his father’s wishes, he decided to be…

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52 Ancestors #16 John Culpepper of Wigsell


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small, and this week’s theme is “Live Long.”

Strangely enough, my parents and my maternal grandmother all died in their 50s, so I’ve always had this notion that I would probably die in my 50s also. Not really a morbid thought, just a weird likelihood. When I started looking at the ages of my ancestors for this blog, I was surprised to find a majority of my ancestors lived into their 80s. Maybe I’ll get a few more years out of this life than I thought.

One of my ancestors lived to be 82…back in 1612. I think that is a considerable age for the time. According to early English records, an infant had a 30% chance of dying before the age of 15, 60% for working-class children in the city. As people had no concept of immunity, many died of childhood diseases, and as they grew, they were likely to die of food-borne illnesses or communal diseases like the plague and typhus. In 1665, 80,000 people died of the plague in London, 45,000 were children. Sanitary practices weren’t invented, and medicine wasn’t even a factor. Most thought one survived only because of luck, and many families named their children with identical names, knowing only one had a chance of surviving into adulthood.

book 1 different angleSo, in 1530, my 12th great-grandfather John Culpepper of Wigsell was born in Salehurst, Sussex, England. He had at least two brothers who also lived to a considerable age, all breaking the above mortality rates. He married Elizabeth Sedley at the age of thirty, had seven children who all survived, and remained in his childhood home of Wigsell Manor until his death 20 October 1612 at the age of 82. The home is still standing today and is privately owned. Mostly, John lived a quiet life in the country, but records show him an active Justice of the Peace in public testimonies and an involvement in Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council from 1558 to 1592.

St_Mary_the_Virgin_Church,_Salehurst_(Geograph_Image_2366571_3456e22f)He was buried at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Salehurst on 21 October 1612 as “Johanes Colepeper, armiger, etatis 82.” Armiger means having the right to a coat of arms, and etatis means age. If there was a monument, it was destroyed during the Commonwealth’s desecration of the local churches in the mid 1600s.