Monday, November 14, 2011

Canada Was a Part of the American Revolution?

Now that my co-author and I are editing our novel, “No Gentleman is He”, based in Revolutionary America in the spring and summer of 1775, I thought I would give a few details about this exciting time in history.

You must be asking why this Canuck would deign to write about American history? In this case, perhaps we are more qualified than you may suspect. Also my co-author, Carley Bauer, is American and fascinated with this time in history.

Unbeknownst to a lot of Americans, Canada was a pivotal player in the proceedings. Both the British and the Patriot rebels were vying for Canadian support to their respective causes. The Patriots were also hoping that the disenchanted French Canadians would bring the Iroquois Indians with them to fight the occupying British forces with the backing of France. Earlier on in the 1600’s, Canada was primarily a French holding, and it was only later, in the early 1700’s, that the British invaded Canada and took over Crown management of this vast, rich land, disenfranchising many French occupants. France was a predominately Catholic nation, and had set about converting the native peoples and the European settlers to French political and religious control. Now that the Protestant English had taken over from the French government, many French inhabitants were bitter and afraid about their religious freedom. The American Patriots had every reason to hope that their rebel forces would increase with the promise of northern help and French funds.

With the impending release of our breakout romance novel, I will be adding little known and interesting details about the American Revolution over the next few weeks, many of which are probably not in your better known history books. This novel, while a romance, will also include historical accuracy for those discerning history buffs that enjoy their romance mixed with thoughtful, well researched facts. You should also know that this novel is the just the first in a series of American Revolutionary romances, all featuring fictional characters who have an active role in the Patriot cause for American independence.

I also want to introduce our main players. First of all is Cassandra Courtney Brooks, the beautiful and fair-haired daughter of an affluent English landowner, who ran away from England to America with the estate’s stable hand, Seth Brooks, to avoid a distasteful, arranged marriage to an elderly aristocrat. A year later, Cassandra found herself a widow, with the tatters of a dream and four beautiful horses, the start of a stable of exceptional Standardbred horses, destined to the breed of choice in America within a very short time. She was near desperate, and facing the loss of her late husband’s dream which she was determined to carry on.

Enter Colton Rolfe, descendant of the famous John Rolfe who was married to Pocahontas and started one of the first Virginia tobacco farms in America. Through a quirk of genetic nature, his distant ancestry showed up in swarthy skin, shiny black hair and flashing dark eyes, resulting in bigotry from neighboring plantation owners, with the exception of one childhood friend. Even his own father had rejected Colton, leaving a very lonely boy and later, a bitter man who had inherited the plantation and started his own breeding program for the beautiful Standardbred horses. When he meets Cassandra Brooks, he is immediately greedy for the four horses she possesses, and offers her a job as steward to his estate, against all social protocols of having a woman work in an exclusively male profession. He has full expectations that when Cassandra find the job too much for her, that will sell her horses to him and leave. But the desire to get his hands on her horses soon pales to the desire to possess their owner. Even the storm of war brewing, and Colton’s involvement in it cannot take Cassandra Brooks from his mind and his dreams, the power of his passion frightening both him and her with its intensity. It doesn’t help that Colton Rolfe already had a reputation of savagery, the destruction of one local woman’s reputation, and even murder. How could a refined, pampered and impoverished Cassandra from a loyalist family possibly overlook Colton’s past, even if this enigmatic man haunted her dreams, aroused unfamiliar sensuality and threatened her very existence?

I hope you stay tuned for more plot teasers, and interesting facts about the beginning of a new nation and how it tied into an equally colorful Canadian history.


Nancy MacMillan said...

I normally don't go for historical romances, but I follow Bonnie's Canadian blog - Homecoming Vets and was curious what you and your partner found in your research. I your tidbit's were enticing and interesting! Canada has a strong military presence to be thankful for. Great story idea.

S.L. Bartlett said...

Thanks very much for visiting, Nancy, and for your comment. I also follow Bonnie's blog, as well as yours. Interesting content that I read, though I may not always comment. (Time is my constant enemy, LOL) I found many interesting facts that frankly surprised me...I'm compiling them now, and as I organize them, I'll be adding more here. I never suspected for a moment that Upper Canada had such an influence on American history until I started researching for my novel. We are not finishing up final edits on it, and already have an extensive outline for two more novels in the series, and I can't wait to do more research yet! Now I'm obsessed!