I’m pleased to welcome Elaine Cougler, author of The Loyalist’s Luck to Peeking Between the Pages today as she tours with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. The Loyalist’s Luck is the second book in The Loyalist Trilogy and having read the first book The Loyalist’s Wife I’m really looking forward to this one. Elaine joins us today with a guest post and please be sure to pop by at the end of the post for a chance to win an eBook copy of The Loyalist’s Luck. For now enjoy Elaine’s guest post entitled A FRENCH CASTLE, A LITTLE HISTORY, AND FINDING NUGGETS…
Crossing the gray river seemed such a short journey, only a few hundred feet. But Lucinda Garner was fleeing from all she knew. Crowded into the flat-bottomed bateau, clutching Harper John, and jammed against her husband amidst the others loyal to the King, she struggled to keep her footing as the boat pitched and tossed in the unruly waters. She glanced back one more time at the old French Castle high on the hill behind, almost lost in the morning mist.
“We’ll never set foot on that side of the river again, mark my words.” Her friend Nellie’s voice was in her ear.
From The Loyalist’s Luck by Elaine Cougler
You never know what funny facts you’ll unearth when researching for a novel. Take my visit to Fort Niagara, which is situated just across the Niagara River from Niagara-on-the-Lake in present-day New York State. I thought I was visiting a fort that had been passed back and forth between the British and the Americans in the early days of our North American history and so I was.
I learned, however, that the thick stone-walled centerpiece of the fort actually dates back to 1726 and trading between the French and the native tribes plentiful in the area at the time. This magnificent structure has been called the French Castle for generations.
The French, who were nervous about being surrounded by thousands of natives with whom they traded, built the fort as a cautionary move. This action actually shocked and angered the natives who did not believe in ownership of the land. Erecting such a permanent structure was against their principles. The French, however, mollified the natives by saying their purpose was to provide a place of hospitality for their native friends.
Politics. Nevertheless, the ‘French Castle’ still stands at wonderful Fort Niagara, a testament to superior building practices in the eighteenth century.
Walking the second floor hall and the steps to the other levels and viewing the rooms where soldiers would have been billeted gave me a wonderful sense of setting for both The Loyalist’s Wife and its sequel, The Loyalist’s Luck. I walked my characters’ walk, making Lucy’s vision as she and John left their former home easy for me to visualize and write.
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