I have historical fantasy author, Barbara Best, on the blog today. Barbara is going to share with us her inspiration behind her fabulous series…
The Lincoln Penny
(A Time Travel series Book #1)
Unforgettably Different! Painfully Real! History geek Jane Peterson just hit the refresh button on her life when, during a Civil War reenactment, she is thrust into a raging siege with brutal consequences. 2012 resets to 1862 amid the colorful, historic characters of Savannah, Georgia and bloodiest conflict in American history.
Jane’s ghostly appearance is a bad omen to the doomed soldiers at Fort Pulaski. In a chilling twist of fate she is compelled to cross hostile enemy lines and seek shelter with strangers. Realizing the impact of her knowledge and horrors of Civil War medicine, Jane’s dream of rescue becomes a deep desire to save others. In a story of good and evil, murder and intrigue, grave reality and the supernatural, she must face the grim truth that loving history and living it are two entirely different things.
Vanished on her 24th birthday without a trace! Medical student Bryce McKenzie and Jane Peterson have shared a unique bond since childhood. But when exactly did she capture his heart? Refusing to accept Jane’s death, Bryce vows never to give up on the woman he loves. With the help of Sophie Downing, the only witness to Jane’s freak disappearance, he searches for the key to unlock an impossible mystery.
The Lover’s Eye
(A Time Travel Series, Book 2)
The sequel to “The Lincoln Penny” is flinch-free and stands alone as a riveting story of glorious triumphs, unspeakable tragedies, and incredibly tender moments that will capture your heart, engage your imagination and keep you reading long into the night.
A heated clash between modern-day thinking and 19th century ideals emerges, as fiercely independent and impetuous Jane Peterson and her deep-seated love Bryce McKenzie from 2013 struggle to exist in 1863 wartime America. Follow Jane as she learns to let go of everything she thought she knew about herself, and gains the courage to make tough choices that will alter history, including her own, forever. Encounter shocking truths Bryce must face in his harrowing search for Jane and the ominous plot that involves him in an unbelievable event. Discover the dark and compelling secrets behind supernatural forces that will sweep you back, once again, to the vibrant people of the past and bloody backdrop of the great American Civil War.
They say the most effective writers write about what they know. In my case, I would say that statement is absolutely true. THE LINCOLN PENNY: A Time Travel Series, Book 1 and its sequel THE LOVER’S EYE: A Time Travel Series, Book 2, breathe life into a period of American history — the American Civil War — because I have lived it myself.
As a Civil War reenactor who assumes the persona of a proper American lady who might have existed between the years 1861 and 1865, I have had the unique opportunity to study history and teach others what it was like “back then.” Civil War reenactors are especially serious about authenticity and present the most realistic impression possible to the public. I feel those impressions of living history have inspired me to share many of my real-life experiences with others in the form of fiction, blended with serious notes of reality and imaginative speculation.
A woman’s life in the Southern United States during the American Civil War was steeped in tradition and varied, of course, much like the lives of women today. But, one thing all of their gender shared during this period was the unexpected and inescapable role they would take on to support the South and Confederacy. Many lives were turned upside-down, touched by adversity, sacrifice and tragedy, and often, one would think, beyond the realm of human endurance. No individual was left unaffected by the outbreak of hostilities and enormity of bloodshed, yet they persevered.
Have you ever thought about the clothes women wore and the time it took to do their hair? During the mid-1800s, this daily monumental task, alone, could make the modern-day woman feel a bit overwhelmed and no less incensed.
When dressing for the period, I wear a minimum of ten layers, counting my sturdy boots and dress. I understand it is an average of forty-pounds worth, depending on the occasion. From stockings to chemise, to the fashionable corset and caged hoop, volumes of petticoats, undersleeves and other accessories, I am able to polish off an impression that is suitable to honor women of the times and guaranteed to make myself feel quite noble in the process.
During Civil War events, you will find me snugly sheathed from head to toe in all living conditions, from a sweltering ninety-five degree August day in a dusty field around a hot fire to freezing temps where you must break ice in a barrel before you can scoop the first bit of water to wash up in the morning and brew your coffee. Of course, there are lazy, hazy, daisy days too, where one might escape into a quaint historic setting, a lovely garden, or enjoy a nice stroll in the park. I know what it is like to awaken at the crack of dawn to a bugle’s razor-sharp call to Reveille or to recoil from the powerful blast of cannon fire that makes your ears ring for days. I have walked among Gothic archways in massive brick fortifications and danced the Virginia Reel by candlelight at a soiree. I have camped in a simple A-tent amid a sea of white canvas on a barren hillside dotted with crackling campfires and a million twinkling diamonds in the night sky. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you may find your mind and body has surrendered to the moment. In a surreal twist, an uncanny sensation abruptly washes over you and in the blink of an eye effects a chimera so real you could swear you are there — you have literally and eerily traveled back in time. Now, tell me, who on earth would not want to experience that, at least once?
A special thank you to Mary Anne Yarde for allowing me this wonderful opportunity to share. It has truly been a pleasure.
Links for Purchase
The Lincoln Penny
The Lover's Eye
About the author
Barbara Best began her career as a professional copywriter and artist with over twenty-five years in the fields of Marketing and Graphic Design. Beginning in 2014, she took her love of writing to new heights with her debut novel, “The Lincoln Penny,” which merges multiple genres, to include historical fiction, mystery, romance, scientific literature and fantasy. Its sequel “The Lover’s Eye” was released in June 2016, and she is not finished yet. Book 3 in her Time Travel Series is currently in the works and should be released sometime in 2018. Her novels, to date, reveal Barbara’s genuine passion for history. She has been an avid American Civil War reenactor for many years and participated in Civil War era events held at national battlefields and heritage sites throughout the East Coast of the United States. Her hobby and a need to bring the past to life eventually formed the backdrop for her absorbing and heartwarming tales. Barbara is a devoted grandmother who loves to ride motorcycles, play the piano, camp, and travel overseas. “I may be retired with my hubby Bob, but I am busier than ever.”