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

Author Mary Kubica on writing

My article appeared in the Hudson Hub-Times July 3, 2017

Hudson – A best selling author kept her writing secret from everyone but her husband, who wasn’t allowed to read it until her first book was published.

Author Mary Kubica June 28, shared her writing experience with more than 50 readers of her “chilling psychological thriller” at the Hudson Library and Historical Society.

“Every Last Lie” is a widow’s search for the truth after her husband’s tragic death in a car accident that may not have been accidental.

She writes in first person because “I felt like I was outside with a third person perspective.”

“Every Last Lie” is written from two points of view, Clara and her husband, Nick, before he dies.

Kubica said she writes each point of view separately and then merges them like a deck of cards being shuffled.

A New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Kubica has written “The Good Girl,” Pretty Baby” and “Don’t you Cry.”

“The Good Girl” was an Indie Next, received a Strand Critic Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in “Debut Goodreads Author” and “Mystery & Thriller.”

Kubica began writing as a young girl and lived vicariously through her characters. She didn’t dream of sharing her stories.

“I was shy about writing and kept it private,” Kubica said. “I was passionate about writing but didn’t want to be an author.”

Instead she became a history teacher, but after the birth of her children, she resumed writing.

“I was quickly consumed by it,” Kubica said. “I felt guilty not doing other things [chores].”

She learned by trial and error and found her voice with mysteries.

It took Kubica five years to write “The Good Girl.” She sent it to nearly 100 agents and was rejected by every one. When the rejections arrived in the mail, she rushed out to retrieve them before her husband saw them.

“It was so demoralizing,” Kubica said.

Two years later, an agent contacted her about the book for publication.

“It was a dream come true,” she said.

She was contracted to write a second book,” Pretty Baby” but her first proposal was rejected.

“I had only one idea,” Kubica said. “I was under deadline and losing time. I needed a new idea.”

She had an image of a teen holding a baby and wrote the first chapter, Kubica said.

“It was not inspiration,” she said. “It was desperation.”

Kubica answered questions from the audience and signed books afterwards, giving fans a chance to meet their favorite author.

Hudson Library and Historical Society offers programs every month on a variety of subjects, including wellness, walking tours, music, book clubs, cooking, genealogy and culture. For more information, visit hudsonlibrary.org

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

Review of Cowboy on the Run

Cowboy on the Run by Devon McKay

The story crackles with sexual tension and memorable imagery from beginning to end as Nate Walker, quick to run from trouble, returns to Jessie Calhoun, the woman he left behind but still loves.cowboyontherun_w7754_300

Their mental and emotional battles take the reader on a roller coaster ride that is intensified by near fatal accidents.  Past problems and new surprises keep the reader turning the page to find out how the fire and ice couple resolve their feuding love life.

Will Jessie forgive Nate and trust him not to leave again or will she accept Alan, the man who doesn’t hide his love but may hide a darker secret?

The characters are interesting and the situation believable. The prose is easy to read and the story moves at a quick pace.  I highly recommend this romance.


The value of book clubs to a writer

The column appeared in the Jan. 29, 2017 edition of the Hudson Hub-Times at https://goo.gl/M6TNwz

by Freeman of the Press

A Hudson book club, with a little prodding from Barbara Bos, read my first book, “Impending Love and War” in my Impending Love series.  Barbara is a trustee for Case-Barlow Farm, and we share a love of history and old barns.

Barbara invited me to join a dozen ladies in the club for their meeting in January to discuss my book.

Hudson has several book clubs, but this was my first time talking to one about my book.

I confess, I was excited to talk about my writing. Wouldn’t any writer?ImpendingLoveandWar_w8676_300

I read my book, which I had written in 2014, to refresh my memory and gathered some visuals to share.

We met at the home of one of the members and upon talking to some of the other ladies in the club, I learned Barbara had the reputation for picking books no one liked. Oh no!

For many of the club members, this was their first historical romance novel and were under the misconception it was a bodice ripper, a term used for novels written in the 1970s. Instead of violent confrontations between the hero and heroine, modern romance novels emphasis an equal relationship with a clever first meeting and problems more complex than how to land a husband.

Although the romance genre is identified with a happily ever after ending, women’s literature, doesn’t guarantee romance or a happy ending. I explained that women’s lit emphasizes a woman’s voyage through a trial, disease or life altering even and doesn’t guarantee a happy ending to clarify the difference.

My writing combines romance, history and suspense and many genres are blended in modern books to appeal to a larger audience of readers.

The Hudson residents enjoyed the emphasis on local history. The story takes place in the fictional town of Darrow Falls and one club member guessed Darrowville inspired the name and at least one building in the book.

They asked an assortment of questions, including where I came up with ideas for the book.

As a reporter I covered a story at the library about the Underground Railroad in the local area, which helped to develop the idea for the story about a runaway slave.

They say write what you know. Since my family has lived in the area for more than 150 years, I had plenty of personal history to draw from.

I shared the fact that the homes in the story were based on my grandparent’s house and the Goldsmith House at Hale Farm & Village.

The Beecher name is a family name and my heroine, Cory Beecher, like me, is a distant cousin to Harriet Beecher Stowe.

To create tension, the abolitionist heroine, has two suitors. One is a stranger looking for a runaway slave and the other is an instructor from Western Reserve College, who believes in colonization.

I shared some of my research photos with the favorites being those about the canal in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I love traveling along the towpath and wanted to incorporate it into the story. In addition to sharing history, I try to add humor and hope the reader has fun reading the book.

The six books in the series can be read independently with each one focusing on one of the Beecher sisters from 1860 through 1866. I’m finishing the fourth and will be sending it to my editor soon.

The club members enjoyed a chance to read something lighthearted, and some of the book club members bought the next book in the series, which I greatly appreciate. Fans are built one book at a time, and I hope I gained a few.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP

Review of “Impending Love and Lies”

This story appeared in the Hudson Hub-Times newspaper Oct. 9, 2016 and can be found at https://goo.gl/YSYMyD

Third historical romance by Hudson Hub reporter ‘a great read’

by Dorothy Markulis Guest Columnist Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM

“Impending Love and Lies,” the third in a series of novels by Laura Freeman, is a great read with romance,
adventure  and information.ImpendingLoveandLies_w11000_300

Strong characters, tangled in a conflicted love, and caught in a horrific war, sears the conflict into your brain.

The author’s knowledge of the Civil War is mind boggling. One can only marvel at the extent of the research that came before the book. Her attention to detail makes the war between the states – with all its horror – come alive.

Those details, and the sacrifices made by the valiant soldiers, will stay with you long after you finish the book.

When she takes you to the battlefield she makes you smell the blood and witness the carnage.

Freeman, a reporter with the Hudson Hub-Times, also has woven bits of local history into the telling of the tale with details of the Ohio-Erie canal and life along its boundaries.

“Impending Love and Lies” is a wild ride and well worth the journey.

Author appearance

Freeman will have a meet the author and book signing event from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at The Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson.

“Impending Love and Lies” continues the story of the six Beecher sisters, who live in Darrow Falls, Ohio. Each sister has a romance during a particular period of the war years. Some of the characters make an appearance in more than one book, but each book can be read independently of the others.

Anticipating a marriage proposal, Colleen “Cole” Beecher trains her younger sisters how to maneuver their grandfather’s canal boat through the loc
ks between Akron and Cleveland. They read letters from local soldiers in the 29th and Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantries to pass the time. When a scruffy passenger named Blake Ellsworth is shot by the Cassell brothers, Cole discovers he’s carrying Confederate gold hidden under a ragged coat.

Is Blake Ellsworth a soldier, thief, or spy? Cole is determined to sort the truth from the lies. While recuperating, Blake overhears Cole confront her suitor Simon about an announcement in the Summit Beacon that he is marrying a New York socialite. Cole throws him out when he proposes she become his mistress.

For details, visit http://www.TheWildRosePress.com online.

“Impending Love and Lies”

New #historic #romance novel “Impending Love and Lies” by Laura Freeman released Oct. 26, 2016 at http://goo.gl/0fBnFq or https://amzn.com/B01LDJVD9S  Available in print and ebook @wildrosepress

The scruffy-looking passenger turnImpendingLoveandLies_w11000_300s out to be more trouble than Colleen “Cole” Beecher bargained for, especially since Blake becomes her patient. After a suitor spurs her to marry a rich socialite, she travels to Washington City and throws herself into work to help the Union cause. When Blake offers her a job at his hotel, she takes it for the money, but her heart desires more.

When hotel owner Blake Ellsworth boards a canal boat to escape the Cassell brothers, he meets a headstrong beauty who saves his life when he is shot. Despite his attraction to her, Blake is determined to join the Union army once his shoulder heads. Fearing he may make Cole a widow, Blake won’t propose marriage, but eight weeks is a long time to spend with a woman who stirs more than his imagination.


Review of The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson

The Fairy Tale Bride (Montana Born Brides series Book 1) by [Wilson, Scarlet]

The Fairy Tale Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Scarlet Wilson weaves a love story with a strong plot, likable characters, and plenty of tension between the lovers.  She uses her hospital experience to lend authenticity to the roles of Dr. Adam Brady and volunteer Lisa Renee. The subplot of Lisa’s sisters adds strength to the emotional turmoil, and the setting of the bridal shop offers opportunities for character interaction. Although the story focused on the two lovers and ended with their reconciliation, I wanted to know what happened at the celebrity wedding, especially since Lisa had witnessed infidelity by the groom. It seemed like a loose end.  For all writers, grammar errors gave me pause several times such as “It was time to for him to play his hand.” Extra words or a missing word should have been caught in editing. Also try replacing “got” or “get” with an active verb. A little polish and the story would shine even more.

Review of “An Unexpected Gift” by Katherine Grey

an-unexpected-giftAn Unexpected Gift by Katherine Grey

Katherine Grey has taken the Regency Romance and mastered all the complicated rules, settings, and social class distinction in the genre and elevated it to a modern level.  The heroine rescues as often as she is rescued.  Olivia and Will aka Lazarus are not members of the Ton but romp about the inns, carriages, and ballrooms with ease.  The story begins with intensity of a wounded man arriving on a dark night and maintains the excitement throughout the novel.  The characters are complicated and move through the plot logically and emotionally in a realistic manner. I would have liked the subplots tied up sooner and the relationship with the brother drawn out longer in the ending.


Author Amanda Flower on Writing to Publish

This article appeared Sept. 18, 2016 in the Hudson Hub-Times at https://goo.gl/hDbQMo 

Hudson library launches Writing to Publish series

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: September 18, 2016 12:00 AM

amanda-flowerHudson — The library is offering a Writing to Publish series for the first time.

The first program was Sept. 7 with Plotting the Bestselling Novels by Amanda Flower. Flower is a best selling mystery author with her 20th book due out Dec. 6. She also is the adult service librarian at the Hudson Library and Historical Society.

“As a writer, I’m excited to offer this series to the community,” Flower said. “To get published is hard. I’m in a position to help.”

The remaining three programs are scheduled the first Wednesday of the month and registration is required, with a limit for the Oct. 5 program when literary agent Vicki Selvaggio will talk about Writing Query Letters.

Local authors Shelley Costa, Casey Daniels and Mary Ellis will form a panel Nov. 2 to talk about Getting the Call and Selling Your Book the Traditional Route.

The final program in the series Navigating the Changing World of Self-Publishing is Dec. 7 and includes a panel of local self-published authors, Eric Van Raepenbusch, Matthew Verish, Stephanie Verish and Elizabeth Yurich.

Flower advised writers to start with a bang and set the tone of not only the story but the tone for a writer’s entire career. She gave examples of several first lines in well-known novels to illustrate how the author revealed what was ahead.

“It’s your voice,” Flower said. “No one has the same voice. It’s unique to you. So set it early.”

She talked about using sympathy to make the reader care for the characters and then raising the stakes to put the character in trouble and increase tension in the story.

“The writer needs an emotional connection to the story,” Flower said. “The reader needs to feel the story.”

Flower describes herself as a pantser or fly-by-your-pants type of writer instead of the plotter who has detailed outlines and character sketches before writing the first word.

“Every book has magical moments,” Flower said. “Plotters need to make room for magic when the character makes a hard right turn. Your character may know better than you what will happen.”

The plot needs a turning point where the character makes a decision to resolve a problem before the final confrontation and resolution, she said

“Out of a dark moment, they decide to do something to change their lives,” Flower said.

The final step is to rewrite several times.

“It must be the best book you can write,” Flower said. “Don’t submit a book that could be better.”

For more information or to sign up, go to www.hudsonlibrary.org

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP


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.