We All Need Fortitude

Today–Saturday, June 6, 2020–marks the 122 anniversary of the Tampa area race riots that happened during the mobilization of the troops to Cuba for the Spanish-American War. For my novel, Fortitude, I researched the event from multiple sources and did my best to portray the situation accurately, though it was heartbreaking to dive into such vileness as the triggering event. More lives were lost in Florida (due to disease and bigotry) than in the Cuba campaign of the Spanish-American War.

If you’re not familiar with Fortitude, it’s a coming-of-age Southern Gothic listed with Grateful American Foundation as a “Best History Book” for kids (targeted for 5-10th grades), one of only three dozen books currently on the list. It’s about standing up when you see injustices and helping your fellow man, no matter the cost. The settings are mostly familiar ones to my readers: Mobile, Dauphin Island, Mon Louis Island, and Tampa in 1898. It was my first published novel in 2015 and is now in its second edition with Bienvenue Press, home of The Possession Chronicles–and several of the characters if Fortitude make an appearance in the series.

We must learn from the past and move forward with compassion–and fortitude.

Five Fortitude Facts

I’ve been a little obsessive about The Possession Chronicles lately, but here are five facts about Fortitude:

  • My first book baby—though not my first manuscript written. (It’s the sixth book-length manuscript for me.)
  • It’s the result of five years of research and writing.
  • The novel has the most reviews out of all my books.
  • It has the distinction of being listed as a “Best Book for Kids” (grades 5-10th) from Grateful American Foundation for its historical accuracy and reader engagement.
  • It’s a standalone novel, but there are other writings that tie into it—“Courtship and Courage: A Fortitude Short” in the Hometown Heroes Christmas Anthology by Bienvenue Press and you can find Fortitude characters in The Possession Chronicles from book two on.

Have you read Fortitude? Do you have a favorite character? You’ll be able to see a couple of the main characters—and the next generation—in The Possession Chronicles. Happy reading!

FORTITUDE Sale

I hope everyone’s summer is going well. There’s been a few shakeups and adventures in my end of the world, but I’m doing good.

Today is a quick post to let you know the Kindle edition of Fortitude is on sale through the weekend for $0.99.

In the vein of Southern Gothic coming-of-age novels like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Secret Life of Bees, Fortitude gives the reader an experience rich in the climate and culture of 1898 Alabama and the Spanish-American War camps in Florida. It’s a great summer read for ages twelve through adults, so tell a friend.

What’s on your summer reading list?

Fortitude, Take Two

Today is the fateful day.

Fortitude, my first published novel, is relaunched into the world with a stunning new design.Did you know Fortitude is listed as a “Best History Books for Kids” choice by Grateful American Foundation for its historical accuracy and reader engagement?  

Ever think about what would happen if a feisty Irish-American teen volunteered to serve the Buffalo Soldiers in the Jim Crow South?

Travel to the Tampa Bay area in 1898 with Claire O’Farrell of Dauphin Island, Alabama, and find out.

Kindle/Kindle Unlimited

Paperback

More ordering options to support local bookstores can be found here.

It’s Time for More Fortitude


Fortitude is ready to be back in the wild.
The new edition (fresh cover and formatting) of my first published novel releases
March 5th by Bienvenue Press. While it did go through a round of line edits, no major changes were made. If you’re new to my books, now is a great time to order the digital copy as it’s on sale for $0.99. It will be on Kindle Unlimited and paperback ordering will be available soon.

Fortitude is a coming-of-age Southern Gothic tale set against the backdrop of the Spanish-American War. Main character Claire O’Farrell is a first generation Irish-American from Dauphin Island, Alabama, and her best friend, Loretta Davis, is a Creole who lives in Mobile. Together, they volunteer as nurses in the Buffalo Soldiers’ camp in the Tampa Bay area. In the days leading up to departure for Cuba, more soldiers lost their lives in the Florida camps from disease and race riots than would die in battle. Dark days are recounted in this historical novel that earned ranking on the “Best Books” list for kids (grades 5th-10th) from Grateful American Foundation in 2017.

Also out in the world this month is Mardi Gras Pieces: A Collection of Short Stories, an anthology compiled by Mobile Writers’ Guild. The Kindle version is released, paperback soon to follow. “Masked Flaws”, a prequel short story to The Possession Chronicles, is included.

Told through the point-of-view of Edmund Easton, “Masked Flaws” takes place the winter before Perilous Confessions (December 1903-January 1904.) Want the backstory of Edmund joining Mystics of Dardenne and their infamous masquerade of 1904 that is hinted about in the first book? Read it in this one-of-a-kind collection by local Mobile area writers. Proceeds go to Mobile Writers’ Guild to help sponsor programming and literary outreach–like the Mobile Literary Festival that is happening on March 16, 2019. I hope to see you there.