Dr. Carrie is in the house today, y’all! She’s talking about her newest novella – ‘Love’s Escape’ from The Captive Brides Collection – and one of my very favorite historical topics, the Underground Railroad.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of fifteen Christian historical romances, including ECPA bestsellers. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper,” in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!
You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
Her newest novella, ‘Love’s Escape’, released Oct 1st as part of The Captive Brides Collection!
Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love?
Contributing authors include Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Lucy Thompson, and Gina Welbourn. Novellas cover a range of time periods, spanning from 1655 to the 1890s.
Love’s Escape, by Carrie Fancett Pagels
With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to “conduct” her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?
Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too!
Escaping on the Underground Railroad
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Thanks for having me on, Meez Carrie! And BTW, of course I love your name! Not only your lovely first name but thanks for letting me borrow for both first and maiden names for my heroine’s friend in “The Sugarplum Ladies” part of A Victorian Christmas collection from Barbour (September 2018). Set in 1867, right after the Civil War was over, I’ll also be “visiting” with a number of fictional characters from my other books! But let’s talk about this novella and why I find the Underground Railroad fascinating!
Growing up in Michigan, we learned of many Underground Railroad stories. No history of America in the mid 1800s was complete without the story of abolition and of the Civil War and how the Underground Railroad assisted many escaped slaves. My new novella, “Love’s Escape”, is a twist on that theme. About a year before my heroine, Letitia, is assisted off of a Virginia plantation, Henry “Box” Brown had successfully shipped himself north in a box!
BTW, if you want to set the mood for this post, go to this link of Stephen Foster songs!
And here’s my Pinterest board for Lettie and Nathan’s story!
Lettie is one-eighth African descent (octoroon being the terminology of that period of time.) She has nothing that “shows” she’s an escaped slave, which it makes her travel much easier. As I was writing the story, I felt the conflict Lettie had in having been a slave, the daughter of a woman one-fourth African descent (quadroon being the terminology) and her grandmother the daughter of an African slave and a Caucasian planter. Here’s a picture from my Pinterest Board that I think “looks” like how I imagined Letitia!
I’ve met so many people, since I wrote Return to Shirley Plantation, my debut book, who are of a similar descent as Lettie. It’s something most don’t talk about. And in these times, we don’t think much about bi-racial or multi-racial backgrounds. But in Lettie’s day it was the difference between bondage and freedom. So she’d have to bury her past if she wants to escape. And we literally give her a device in which that could happen – a coffin!
Julian Charity, the Shirley Plantation Historian, gave me the idea for the story. He spoke of slaves being smuggled out in coffins. I thought – oh my, that would be so horrible! And what a thing to put my characters through! I’d also read about double bottomed wagons, which were used to transport slaves on the Underground Railroad. So, I made my coffin a double bottomed one! Both Julian’s family, and my friend Libbie Cornett, have families who own funeral homes – Libbie’s family since before Lettie’s time! So, I used some of their history in this story.
And now Letitia is “passing” for a free white woman. But Lettie has more to get freed from – her fear, shame, anger, and lack of faith. She’s understandably in a state of fury and dismay after her enslaved mother has been beaten to death by Lettie’s master and father (not shown on the page, but backstory.) Although I felt sorry for Lettie, I have to say she was a prickly pear to work with at first, and understandably so.
Another of the challenges of writing this story is because of all the travel it took to get a slave to freedom. Letitia ends up taking many forms of transportation on this journey and I spent time researching each one! And I get her a friend to travel with her. And a sweetheart for each! So, double the romance. But can they successfully get to safety in the north – when they’re pursued and have to divert their travel plans?
One of Meez Carrie’s readers will win a paperback copy (autographed and also personalized if you wish!) of The Captive Brides Collection!
Wow! Thank you, Dr. Carrie! I don’t know that my claustrophobic side could handle escaping in a coffin but… desperate times call for desperate measures, don’t they? (And I’m honored to let you borrow my names for your upcoming story! Can’t wait to read it!)
Carrie Fancett Pagels is offering a signed copy of The Captive Brides Collection to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What do you find most intriguing about Carrie’s post?