Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Hatfield 1677 - Book Tour


Historical Fiction

Date Published: May 21, 2024

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


Colonist Benjamin Waite, a devoted husband, father, and skilled military scout in King Philip’s War, reluctantly obeys orders to guide an attack against a camp of Algonquian Natives.

After the catastrophic event, Benjamin is burdened with guilt and longs for peace. But the Algonquians, led by the revered sachem Ashpelon, retaliate with vengeance upon Ben’s Massachusetts town of Hatfield, capturing over a dozen colonists, including his pregnant wife Martha and their three young daughters.

Hatfield 1677 is a tale of three interwoven yet diverging journeys of strength and survival: Benjamin, driven by love and remorse to rescue his family; Martha, forced into captivity and desperately striving to protect her children; and Ashpelon, willing to risk everything to ensure the safety and freedom of his people.

Based on the lives of the author’s ancestors, this riveting and unforgettable novel gives voice to three vastly different experiences in North America during a time before the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Then, the land was but a wilderness and a battleground; equality was not yet perceived as self-evident; and liberty and happiness were nothing more than dangerous pursuits.

Read an Excerpt Below

About the Author

Laura C. Rader earned a BA in psychology from San Diego State University, where she minored in history and took creative writing and literature classes. She drew on those passions in her thirty-year career as a history and English teacher of elementary and middle school students. Now, a full-time historical fiction writer, Laura also enjoys studying genealogy, attending neighborhood book club meetings, taking forest walks with her Rough Collie, and visiting her adult daughter in Brooklyn. Originally from California, Laura lives twenty miles north of  Raleigh, North Carolina.  Hatfield 1677 is a work of historical fiction inspired by a story Laura discovered about her ninth great-grandparents while researching her family’s genealogy.


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more personal "stuff" about Laura C. Rader...  (excerpt below)

Let’s get started…Tell us about your book?

What is the PRIMARY benefit, above all others, that your potential reader will gain from reading this book?


I hope a better understanding of the conflict between European colonists and First Nation Peoples in North America. It was more nuanced than many people believe, probably avoidable, much more violent, and completely heartbreaking.


If you had to compare this book to any other book out there, which book would it be?


Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks or The Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown


Hundreds of thousands of books come out every year. Why should someone buy THIS book?


First of all, because Hatfield 1677 is an engaging story. It is a love story, a survival story, a story of heroism and a story of cross-cultural prejudice and compassion all rolled into one. Secondly, because I take the time to make my historical fiction as historically accurate as possible.


Who is your target audience?

 I think a lot of my readers will be men and women over 35, many from New England, who are interested in learning more about history and like a good story. 


Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage?

 Yes. My father was a university history professor, so I grew up well-educated in that field. I also loved to read and my mother took my sister and me to the library every week. From an early age, my teachers encouraged me and praised my writing. And I was a teacher for thirty years, so teaching reading and writing and history just expanded my knowledge and skills.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

 I’m sure there will be many more, but the one that stands out is holding the finished novel in my hands.


How would you describe your writing style?

 In terms of voice, I love to write dialog and description, and favor long sentences.

In terms of process, I’m a “pantser” mostly.

I do a lot of upfront research, a rough plot outline, and character sketches, but after that, I research and improvise as I go along. Once I have a full manuscript written, I set it aside for at least a month before I look at it again to begin revisions.


Are your characters pure fiction, or did you draw from people you know?

 In Hatfield 1677, I used the actual names of the real people and based their age, family, social class, and basic character as much as possible on historical records. Then I tried to empathize with what each might do or say or feel in a given situation.


Are you more of a character artist or a plot-driven writer? I’m not sure. I try to do both.


What do you hope to accomplish with your book other than selling it?

I want people to read it, and to love the story and characters as much as I do.


How can our readers get in touch with you?

My website is https://www.lcrwriter.com and my professional email is lcrwriter@gmail.com.


Where can our readers purchase your book?

On line at Amazon Amazon Hatfield 1677 Link

Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble Link Hatfield 1677

D2D: https://books2read.com/u/mVYx5Z


I am also working hard to place it in libraries and indie bookstores in San Diego County, where I grew up; North Carolina where I live such as Page 158 Books in Wake Forest   https://www.page158books.com/  and also in New England, where the story took place.




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Excerpt from "Hatfield 1677"




I was startled by a pounding of little fists. I set Mattie in the chair with the book and opened the door. Mary and Abigail stood there, eyes wide, cheeks flushed from running.

“Mama, there’s smoke, look, and loud noises, like dogs howling!” Mary said, pointing down the street and scampering inside.

“Or wolves!” Abigail added, pushing past me.

“Wolves?” Mattie cried. “Mommy, wolves are scary, like lions. Look, look, it is a picture of a wolf in this book!” Mattie said, climbing down off the chair to show me.

I stuck my head out the door and smelled smoke. Not the whiff of cooking fires; this was denser, with the scent of iron and burnt paper. My whole body trembled. I peered down the lane and saw black smoke roiling above the rooftops.

Over the shouting from the carpenters next door came the dreaded and all too familiar battle cries.

I slammed and barred the door, then pressed my back against it and closed my eyes. Sweat flushed my brow. I took several deep breaths. Nearly all our men were in the fields, as usual. The Natives knew our predictable English ways.

“Mommy? What’s the matter?”

My eyes flew open at Mary’s voice.

I ran and closed the shutters on the two front windows. Scooping up Sally, ragdoll and all, I gazed about my home as if angels might have descended to rescue us.

The musket! Ben had left it hanging above the mantle. At the end of every mustering day, he had me practice loading and firing it. I hadn’t needed that knowledge till now.

“Mary, Abigail, take Mattie and Sally to the lean-to. We’re going to play hide-and-go-seek. Hide in the empty cupboard in the lean-to where we used to keep the jelly before we ate it all,” I said, failing to keep the tremor of fear from my voice.

Halfway there, Abigail stopped and looked at me. “But, if you know where we’re hiding, ’tis not fair, and—”

I cut her off. “Abigail, do as you’re told,” I said sharply.

“Will you count to twenty?” Mattie asked. Mary grabbed her hand, and Abigail took Sally’s.

“I’m counting to fifty. Now, go!”

Mary had seen the smoke. Like Abigail, she knew the seeker doesn’t choose the hiding place. I thanked God for Mary’s virtue of obedience. She asked no questions, just hurried all of them to the lean-to.

“One, two, three . . .” I counted aloud. I stood on a stool, took down the gun, and reached for the powder, balls, and rags. Ignoring the blood pounding in my ears, I talked myself through the steps, remembering Ben’s words.

Place the butt end on the floor and point the muzzle at the ceiling.

“Four, five, six . . .” Measure powder from the horn, pour it into the barrel, then ram a wad of cloth and the musket ball down. “Seven, eight, nine, ten . . .” Replace the ramrod. Push the frisson forward, add a pinch of powder to the pan, and close the frisson. Finally, cock it halfway.

“Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen . . .” I made the flintlock ready in the time it took to recite the steps. Slinging the powder horn around my neck, I stuffed the pouch of musket balls and wads into my apron pocket. I grabbed the picture book and my little Bible, too.

“Mommy?” Mattie called, “You aren’t counting!”

I skipped ahead. “Twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two . . .”

Pointing the gun, I unbarred the door and cracked it a few inches to look up and down the lane. Smoke poured from houses on both sides, so I couldn’t see farther than the blacksmith shop. But I knew the stockade gate was open, as it had been during the day for the past few months. Dear God!

The fires were moving in our direction. The Natives were heading this way. Repeated gunfire shattered the air. The lane filled with people screaming, crying, yelping, and scattering. I pulled my head back inside, slammed and barred the door again, then let out a gasp of air I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. “Thirty-five, thirty-six, thirty-seven . . .”

God had spared us once. I prayed the girls would stay hidden, that we could flee. I prayed that I would hit my target if I fired the gun. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I brushed them away. My hands trembled as I aimed the musket at the door and continued counting.

“Forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty! Ready or not, here I come!”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you and for posting the blurb, bio, contest and excerpt.


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