Ulysses S. Grant visits Ohio

Ulysses S. Grant visits grave of his grandmother

By LAURA FREEMAN Reporter Published: July 18, 2017 4:00 AM

DEERFIELD — “Heritage is History squared,” according to Ulysses S. Grant’s portrayer.

Dr. E.C. Fields, Jr., played Civil War Commander Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (and later 18th president of the United States) July 17 at Deerfield Township Cemetery, where Grant’s grandmother, Rachel Kelly Grant, is buried.

Rachel Grant was born in June 1746 and died April 5, 1805. She came to Deerfield in 1804 with her husband, Noah and seven children. Her husband set up a tannery west of Deerfield Circle and lived in a home built by Owen Brown of Hudson.

On the marker, Rachel was “known for her spinning.”

Fields, as Grant, discussed his humble roots.

[“I come from humble stock,” he said. “Rachel was a woman of the Ohio frontier. She worked hard and did her best.”

“Grant” then placed flowers on her grave — and encouraged children not to simply read about history, but to take opportunities to live it.

“Bringing the little ones speaks well of you,” Grant [Fields] said. “For the little ones are the future of our past. Take them everywhere you can where there is history.”

Fields said history is one dimensional on a page.

“Learn it, read it and know it, but heritage is history squared,” Grant [Fields] said. “Heritage is right here where you can come and stand with my grandmother. You can visit the cemetery and honor an ancestor whose blood flows through my veins.”“

Heritage, he added, is visiting Vicksburg, Gettysburg and Shiloh and 10,000 reported battle sites in the 48 months of the Civil War.

“Ohio acquitted itself well during the Civil War,” Grant [Fields] said. “Be proud of the people you came from.”

The event was sponsored by the James A. Garfield Civil War Round Table, which hosted Grant at the Big Red Barn in Valley View for “An Evening with General Grant.”

Sally Sampson, secretary of the Deerfield Township Historical Society, said Commander Benjamin Frayser of the Garfield Civil War Round Table contacted them about the ceremony, and they were happy to make arrangements.

After visiting the cemetery, “Grant” visited the Township Square and the Civil War memorial. He suggested the historical society research the 20 names on the monument and find out more about them, especially the three men with the same last name who died in different battles.

The historical society surprised Grant [Fields] with a visit to a red brick home south of the Township Square where the Grants lived in the building which was reported to have been built by Owen Brown of Hudson. Heather and John Larkin have lived in the home for 19 years and discovered five fireplaces, black walnut floors and a brick walkway beneath the grass.

Fields is a living historian and has appeared as Grant at remembrance ceremonies and reenactments across the country, including the James A Garfield National Historic Site (Mentor, Ohio), Gettysburg, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Appomattox Court House and for the Discovery Channel.

Fields is a member of numerous historical societies and foundations, and contributes to several Civil War publications. His website is GeneralGrantbyHimself.com

The James A Garfield Civil War Round Table was founded in 2015 with a commitment to share and expand members’ passion, knowledge, and understanding of the American Civil War. The Round Table serves communities of Southeastern Cuyahoga County as co-host of the annual Garfield Symposium, with participation in local history fairs, donations of winter-weather protective clothing to local homeless shelters and preparing United States flags for proper retirement.

The round table is named in honor of President James A. Garfield, a native of Cuyahoga County and a Civil War veteran, attaining the rank of major general. Information on the activities or membership participation can be requested fromJamesAGarfieldCWRT@gmail.com

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

This story appeared in the Record Courier July 18, 2017

New TV show Timeless

Instead of books, I’m going to talk about a new television show, “Timeless” on Monday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC.  It went on winter hiatus but should be returning soon.

I love history, which is why I write historical romance, so I enjoy the premise of time travel.

The Time Tunnel was a sci-fi television show in 1966 and 1967 with James Darren and Robert Colbert who are lost in time and bounce from one historical event to another trying to return to 1968 (which was not a good year).

In “Timeless” historian Lucy (Abigail Spencer), special agent Wyatt (Matt Lanter) and time machine expert Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) travel through time in a prototype machine after terrorist Garcia (Goran Visnjic) steals the one in the lab.  The team of three go back to stop Garcia from changing the past and therefore the future.  Ultimately they fail and the future is changed for better and worse.

But how often can the future be changed?  And when her mother asks why Lucy isn’t wearing her engagement ring, is there another Lucy in the present wearing one?

I liked the characters, even Garcia, who may not be as bad as he appears.  He had a notebook belonging to Lucy that he was using as a guide.  Also the lab owner is using Rufus to spy on Lucy and Garcia, and he kept his project a secret from the government.  Suspicious guy.

There are plenty of questions to keep viewers tuning into find out what is going to happen next.

I think their time travel rules will cause problems, though.  They insist a person can’t travel into a time where they existed, and they can’t travel back to a time they just left to avoid meeting themselves.  In other words, they only have one chance to fix Garcia’s chaos.  Once they return to the present, they can’t go back and try again.

This is different from the Back to the Future time travel stories and even in the Time Tunnel, Tony met a younger version of himself (if I remember correctly).

Do you have a favorite new show and what makes it interesting?

I also have questions about the notebook Garcia possessed.  He said Lucy hadn’t written it yet, so is he from the future?  What do you think?

After watching a few episodes, I also think it will have elements of “Lost” with the secret society bent on controlling the characters and maintaining power.

 

Review of Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

I’ve read nearly every Death mystery by J.D. Robb and very few have failed to satisfy.  Robb aka Nora Roberts, writes more books than I can count, and any writer of romance or mystery should read some of her books. She begins her mysteries with a dead bo_mg_4928dy, and in this one she has twelve.  Eve Dallas is the detective in future New York with her super rich husband Roarke lending a hand. The Death series is mostly detective, a good portion of romance, and a bit of science fiction thrown in to the mix.  Robb builds her story like Dallas builds her case, slowly, methodically, and eliminates suspects with the reader as a witness of everything she learns.  Even if the reader figures out who the bad guy is before the end of the story, Dallas has to gather evidence to prove the killer did it, and arrest him. Usually the arrest is climatic to the story, but this one was a bit tame and rather disappointing.  But every book in a series cannot be the same and this ending adds variety.  If you plan to write a series, begin with the early books to see how Robb establishes the regular characters and uses them in different stories.  She also reveals the very dark past lives of Dallas and Roarke slowly, bit by bit, with their romantic ups and downs to keep the reader coming back to learn how their marriage is progressing.  The early books appeal to the romantic reader as well as the mystery reader.

 

A checklist for writers

Checklist for writers:

Are the hero and heroine different enough at the beginning to make their coming together a challenge?

Is the villain evil enough to emphasize the strength of the protagonist? Or take advantage of his/her weaknesses?

Is there a love triangle or a rival to make it a challenge for the hero to win the heroine or vice versa?_MG_3559

Are the supporting characters interesting/challenging to add to the interaction of the protagonist?

Is the problem difficult, personal and important enough for the protagonist to take on at the beginning of the story and see it through to the solution at the end?

Are there external and internal problems for the protagonist?

Are there enough challenges throughout the story to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonist and teach a lesson that needs to be learned by him/her?

Do you build to the climax and the final problem before the resolution and does the solution come as a result of a change in the character?  What does he/she learn?

Does the plot proceed with ups and downs to challenge the protagonist?

Pacing should be varied.  Fast pace with short sentences to give the reader necessary information and slower pace with more detail for the important scenes like an encounter, romantic interlude or confrontation with an enemy. Think vegetables and dessert. The vegetables are necessary but can be eaten quickly. The dessert is for pleasure and should be savored.

Is there a subplot and is it resolved? Are all the loose ends of the story resolved before the final climax or does the story need an epilogue?

Are all the clues and foreshadowing used by the end of the story?  All questions answered, especially in a mystery genre?

 

 

 

 

Writing like Plum

I’ve read nearly every one of the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich and a few of her other books.  What have I learned from Stephanie?  Stephanie is an every girl.  She’s average looking with a job she needs to pay the bills.  The average woman can easily relate to her.  That’s the first thing about creating a character.  The reader has to identify with her.

Stephanie may be the girl next door but she’s surrounded by crazy, interesting people who complicate her life.  Her family drives her nuts because they want her to be normal and settle down.  She has more than one man in her life but doesn’t want to give up her independence. What modern woman can’t relate to interfering relatives and man troubles?

Each book is a series of bizarre blunders, much like an “I Love Lucy” show, that reveals Stephanie’s spunk, ingenuity, and perseverance – all qualities we hope to harbor and yank to the surface in a crisis.  Evanovich uses short, detailed description to keep the various settings, characters, and details of the story in the reader’s mind.  For authors who spend paragraphs detailing the smallest item, take a lesson and write short and sweet.  It’s fast paced writing without a lot of depth or introspective, but that’s on purpose.  Sometimes Stephanie thinks more about her life than other times, but she never makes a hard decision.  She’s forever 29, and the reader is along for a joy ride.

Interview with characters in “Impending Love and Death”

In my day job as a journalist, my column name is Freeman of the Press.  I interviewed the two main characters, Jennifer “Jem” Collins and Logan Pierce, of Impending Love and Death which is available Nov. 18, 2015, at http://goo.gl/CFQBd1 through The Wild Rose Press.

ImpendingLoveandDeath_w9794_300

Press:   This is Jennifer Beecher known to her family as Jem.

Jem:     It’s Mrs. Ben Collins.  We married in March.

Press:   Didn’t Ben join the Ohio Volunteer Infantry in April?

Jem:     He joined with two of his friends to fight for ninety days against the Rebels.

Press:   What do you think happened to your husband?

Jem:     He’s missing.  When I didn’t receive any word from him, I knew something was wrong.

Press:   Why not wait at home for news?’

Jem:     He could be injured, unconscious, or a prisoner.  I’m a nurse.  I can help him if he’s sick or wounded.

Press:   I heard Logan Pierce refused to help you travel to Washington City.  Do you know why?

Jem:     He gave me a flimsy excuse, but I’m capable of traveling alone.  I was hoping Mr. Pierce could suggest a clean but inexpensive boarding house where I could stay.  It wasn’t like I asked for a tour of the city.

Press:   How did you meet Logan Pierce?

Jem:     He claims I nearly ran him over with my buggy, but I didn’t see him.  Maybe the sun was in my eyes, but he shouldn’t have been strolling in the middle of the road.

Press:   Logan, you’re a politician.  What do you do?

Logan: I began working for Salmon Chase when he was governor of Ohio.  He won a seat in the senate, but President Abraham Lincoln appointed him to his cabinet as secretary of the treasury.  I followed him to Washington City and work as his secretary.

Press:   What is your current assignment?

Logan: As you know the President has declared war on the Confederate States, and it is the Department of the Treasury’s responsibility to pay for the war. I have been traveling to win support for a new state in Virginia and in return gain support in Congress for a proposal to issue bonds to pay for the war.

Press:   How did you meet Mrs. Collins?
Logan: She nearly ran over me with her buggy.  She claims she didn’t see me, but I was in the middle of the road heading toward Mr. Wheeler’s Dry Good Store when I heard her horse bearing down on me.  I barely escaped by jumping out of the path of her vehicle. Women should not be allowed behind the reins of a horse.

Press:   Why did you refuse to help Mrs. Collins go to Washington City?

Logan: Communications can be delayed.  I suggested she remain at home and await news of her missing husband, but she refused.

Press:   Did you reconcile on the train to Washington City?

Logan: We agreed to a truce to escape some blowhard’s version of Darwin’s theory on evolution.

Press:   As a gentleman, shouldn’t you come to the aid of a lady?”

Logan: I make it point to avoid married women.

Press:   But you’re helping Mrs. Collins find her husband.

Logan: I hope I don’t regret it.

Logan Pierce on women drivers

Logan Pierce meets the clumsy and dangerous Jem Collins when she nearly runs him over with her buggy in “Impending Love and Death” the second book in the Impending Love series published by The Wild Rose Press.  Buy a copy of “Impending Love and War” at http://goo.gl/CFQBd1 and read it before book two is released Nov. 18, 2015.

Excerpt from “Impending Love and Death”:ImpendingLoveandDeath_w9794_300

“I arrived on the train.”

She stared at his dirty clothes.  “In the livestock car?”

The woman was oblivious to her role in his dishevelment, but he was a diplomat.  He changed his tone to astonishment.  “Can you believe someone nearly ran me over in the middle of the street?  A reckless driver behind a black gelding with three white stockings.”  His hand brushed the dust from his clothes, allowing her time to comprehend his implication.

She looked at her horse, a perfect match for his description.  “I didn’t see anyone in the street.”

“I was the fellow hugging the ground.”  He put his hat on.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have business to take care of before someone else makes an attempt on my life.”

Cory Beecher on courtship

Excerpt from “Impending Love and War” with Cory Beecher explaining courtship to mathematics instructor Douglas Raymond.ImpendingLoveandWar_w8676_300

My novels are on sale through The Wild Rose Press at  www.thewildrosepress.com and http://goo.gl/CFQBd1Impending Love and Death” is due out soon.

If Cory had a plan, it disappeared the minute she saw Douglas looking so vulnerable. Maybe it was the sunburn on his high forehead or the way he kept spinning his mangled hat around with his fingertips. She didn’t like hurting others, but it was cruel to lead Douglas on with no hope of loving him. A quick severance was better than letting plans unravel over time.

“I haven’t seen you all day.” Cory tapped Douglas on the shoulder with her closed fan. “Where have you been?”

“I saw you with your family and Mr. Montgomery and hesitated to intrude.”

I love him, and I don’t love you. That might be too abrupt. Cory sat on a bench under one of the shade trees planted on the edge of the square. “You were honest and forthright about your plans for the future, and I wish to talk about mine.”

Douglas sat next to her and took her hand. It was sweaty. Cory opened her fan and waved it with her free hand.

“Then you’re not angry with me?” He lowered his voice. “About the kiss?”

Cory tried not to groan and moved her fan to block her face. “You were quite forward, Mr. Raymond.”

“You make me bold.” He knelt on one knee in front of her. “I will not jeopardize your reputation by hesitating to make my intentions clear. Miss Beecher, will you marry me?”

Cory had meant to gently coax his attention toward Beth, but a harsher voice would be necessary. She glanced around and saw only a few people nearby who might witness the scene she would create. She took a deep breath and launched her attack. “Is that it?” She snatched her hand from his.

Douglas fell back. “What do you mean? I asked you to marry me?”

“Without a declaration of love?” She stood. “Get up! You didn’t even say I was pretty. When other men have proposed to me, they at least compliment me. You didn’t even do that.” She fanned herself with quick, agitated strokes.

Douglas looked stunned. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, don’t apologize!” she snapped. Douglas cowered as if she’d struck him. He looked so scared that Cory had to fight the urge to soften her words. She closed her fan and smacked it against her palm. “It’s too late. Why no self-respecting woman would say yes to such a proposal. A woman expects flowers, flattery, and a declaration of love from the man she marries. In

fact, I don’t think you love me at all. I believe you’re still in love with someone else.”

Douglas shook his head. “No, that isn’t true.”

Cory raised her voice not only in volume but to an annoyingly high pitch. “Don’t lie to me, Mr. Raymond. I won’t be trifled with. I saw how you looked at Beth Davis when we were having supper the other night,” Cory accused. “You couldn’t take your eyes off of her. You still have feelings for her, don’t you?”

“I have the highest regard for Miss Davis but…”

“Don’t say another word.” Cory emphasized the words with a slap of her closed fan on his shoulder. “I could never take second place in a man’s heart.”

“But she turned me down when I proposed.”

“Proposed?” she gasped. “If you asked Beth to marry you the way you proposed to me, it’s no wonder she turned you down.” Cory lifted her chin. “No woman accepts a proposal of marriage with such callous calculation.” She softened her voice. “You should tell Beth how you truly feel about her and demonstrate your affection with words and deeds if you want her to accept a second proposal.”

Douglas looked confused. “Mr. Montgomery said something about Southern women not accepting the first time, but I thought Northern women were more practical.”

“A woman has pride,” she explained. “Not the same pride as a man. She has no career or is equal in education as a man, but she takes pride in little tasks. It could be the way she embroiders or the flaky crust on her pie. A woman cherishes these accomplishments. They make her life of hard work and drudgery bearable. Beth is an excellent cook, but did anyone compliment

her on her pie crust but her father? Did you know she cut nearly all the pies for the contest on the square? She could easily handle the cooking and cleaning for a dozen men.”

Cory paused to make sure he comprehended the implication of her last words. “Those are skills

overlooked by most. Skills a husband should cherish. A romantic like Beth longs for words of affection and kindness, and she expects them from a man who proposes marriage.”

“But to propose to the same woman twice doesn’t seem to increase the probability of acceptance,” Douglas said. “It’s illogical mathematically. The answer is either right or wrong. It doesn’t change the outcome by doing the problem over and over again.”

“But Beth isn’t a mathematical problem.” How could one man be so obtuse? “She’s a woman. She admitted she admires Jane Austen. She wants romance. Even Mr. Darcy had to ask Elizabeth to marry him a second time. I’m sure if you asked Beth, after a proper declaration of love, she would be tempted to accept your proposal.”

“I don’t think I could ask her again,” Douglas said. “What about my pride?”

“Mr. Darcy swallowed his pride,” Cory reminded him. “Any humbling on your part would be replaced by the proud announcement of your impending marriage.”

Douglas thought on her words. Cory was growing impatient. What did she have to do to convince the man to court Beth?

“You said a woman wouldn’t accept the first time. Is that why you turned me down?”

Good Lord. She was caught by her own words. She had given him hope instead of making it clear she had no interest in him. “I said no because I’m in love with another,” she confessed honestly.

Douglas was shocked by her words. “Who?”

“Why, the man I’ve spent the entire day with, Tyler Montgomery.” She raised her fan to mask her face. “I know we haven’t known each other for long, but he has all the qualities I admire.”

“But he spent the entire evening paying attention to Beth,” Douglas recalled.

Cory lowered her voice to a whisper. “She was flirting with him to make you jealous.”

“Why would she do that?”

“Because she still has feelings for you.”

Douglas looked surprised. “I guess I should go and propose to Beth.”

“You can’t do that!” Cory shouted.

He cringed under her outburst. “Why not?”

Cory rolled her eyes. “Haven’t you heard anything I’ve said about romance? You need to court her. Win her affection. Show how much you care. But first, you should ask permission to escort her to the dance.”

“But wouldn’t that be wasting time? I know the solution to the problem. I should act immediately.”

“A woman doesn’t like to be rushed.”

“But I wish to be married before fall term begins,” he said. “I don’t want to waste any more time.”

He was complaining about wasting time. Cory tried a new tactic. “But a dance accelerates your schedule,” she reasoned. “It’s the perfect opportunity to begin anew and show her how you feel, and it’s a public declaration of your intentions.” She put it in terms he would understand. “Dancing with Beth is equal to three Sunday visits.”

“Three visits,” he repeated. “Do you think she’ll go to the dance with me?”

“All you have to do is ask,” she prodded.

Douglas thought for what seemed like an eternity. “I’ll do it.”

Cory sighed when Douglas headed for th

Courthouse congratulations

I received a letter from the Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh congratulating me on the publication of my first novel. How great is that?

In Impending Love and War the hero, Tyler Montgomery, has to defend Noah St. Paul in the Summit County courthouse to prevent him from going to jail and paying a fine for helping runaway slave, Tess, his wife, and their baby, Adam.  Information about the original courthouse, which was in the same location as the present one, was on display while I was covering a criminal case for the Hudson Hub-Times.  Tonight I’m watching To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Greatest courtroom scene with Gregory Peck.

Walsh letter

 Impending Love and War is published

by The Wild Rose Press and can be ordered

in print of ebook at http://goo.gl/CFQBd1

The cover of Impending Love and War

The cover of Impending Love and War

Cory Beecher on courtship

In Impending Love & War published by The Wild Rose Press http://goo.gl/tqyeQN Cory Beecher is hoping for a proposal of marriage from Douglas Raymond, who is leaving after calling on her.

The cover of Impending Love and War

The cover of Impending Love and War

Cory followed him into the hallway. She had placed the flowers he had brought in a vase on the sideboard. “The flowers are lovely. Thank you.” She handed him his hat. “I’ll see you at the celebration on the square on Wednesday.” She stepped outside onto the porch and led the way toward his horse, swishing her wide skirt side to side. For a few minutes, they would be alone.

She had worn her best-looking frock, an emerald and blue plaid made with a gathered skirt, wide shoulder straps and a tightly cinched waist to create an hour-glass figure. The bodice was altered for evening wear and cut perilously low in the front. Adelaide had threatened to tell her mother if she didn’t sew some modest lace inserts above the bodice, but she had postponed the work until after Douglas called. Now it appeared to have been a futile attempt to attract his attention.

…The visit should have been more successful with a delicious dessert, a daring outfit, and flattering conversation.  What did a girl have to do to get married?