You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baron de Kalb and the Battle of Camden, SC

By Susan F. Craft

General Baron de Kalb
General Baron de Kalb was born in Germany in 1721. He served with distinction in the French Army during the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War.
In 1768 on behalf of France, he traveled to America on a covert mission to determine the level of discontent amongst colonists.
In 1777, he returned with his protégé, the Marquis de Lafayette, and joined the Continental Army.
On August 16, 1780, five miles north of Camden, SC, British forces under Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis defeated the American forces under the command of Major General Horatio Gates.
Gates had over 4,000 men, but only 2,000 were effective for combat. Many succumbed to the heat and also the night before, the men had been fed green corn, causing many to suffer bowel problems.
Lt. General, Lord Cornwallis
Cornwallis had around 2,100 men. Six hundred were Loyalist militia and Volunteers of Ireland, and 1,500 were regular troops. Cornwallis also had the infamous and highly experienced Tarleton's Legion, around 250 cavalry and 200 infantry.
The British troops opened the battle by firing a volley into the militia, followed by a bayonet charge. The militia, lacking bayonets, panicked and ran away. The panic spread to the North Carolina militia, and they also fled. Gates bolted with the first of the militia to run from the field and took refuge 60 miles away in Charlotte, NC. Before he ran, he ordered his right flank under General Baron de Kalb to attack the British militia.
Under de Kalb, the Continentals fought hard, but they numbered only 600 to 2,000 British troops. Cornwallis ordered Tarleton's cavalry to charge the rear of the Continental line. The cavalry charge broke up the formation of the Continental troops.
De Kalb tried to rally his men but was fatally wounded.
After only one hour of combat, the Americans were utterly defeated, suffering over 2,000 casualties. Tarleton's cavalry pursued and harried the retreating Continental troops for 20 miles.
The terrible route for the Americans at the Battle of Camden strengthened the British hold on the Carolinas that were already reeling from the capture of Charleston, SC, by General Sir Henry Clinton in January 1780.
Here’s how Andrew, a character in my novel, The Chamomile, described General de Kalb.
You see, General de Kalb wasn’t one of those officers that puts space between him and his men. He was one of us. Most times when we traveled, he didn’t ride his horse, but marched along beside us. Came around each night and shared the food and fire. Slept on the ground with us. And stories? He could tell some of the best stories. Knew how to share silence too.
At Camden, we were pretty much beaten. Six hundred of us to their two thousand. De Kalb sent his horse to the back of the lines early on, so he could fight side by side with us on foot. Time after time we charged, reformed, and charged again with the general leading the way.
Someone laid his head open with a saber. He was shot. Bayoneted. Cut many times. But he still led one more charge. When the general finally fell, we closed ranks around him. Then Tarleton brought in his dragoons. We fought as long as we could, until most of us broke and ran.
I was running for the woods with the rest of them, but I turned in time to see British soldiers headed toward the general to finish him off. They would have, too, but his aide, Chevalier de Buysson, threw his body on top of him and yelled, "No! No! It’s de Kalb. Brigadier General de Kalb."
Cornwallis ordered his own surgeons to try and save de Kalb.
Death of de Kalb
Here is de Kalb’s response, “I thank you sir for your generous sympathy, but I die the death I always prayed for; the death of a soldier fighting for the rights of man.”
When the general died three days later, Cornwallis found out he was a Mason, same as himself. He had him buried with full military and Masonic honors.
Years later, on a tour of South Carolina, President George Washington visited the grave of de Kalb and is reported to have said the following, “So there lies the brave de Kalb; the generous stranger who came from a distant land to fight our battles and to water with his blood the tree of our liberty. Would to God he had lived to share with us its fruits.”


Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview of Author - Bert Goolsby

The winner of a copy of The Locusts of Padgett County is           Debby Johnson -- Congratulations!!!

Question 1
Are experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Writers are told, “Write what you know.” (I recognize, however, it is difficult to write what you don’t know.) Much like any writer, I write what I know or have experienced; and what I don’t know, I try to make it something I do know by researching the matter.) I am blessed with a legal education and experience, a lot of it in the trial and appellate courts. Much of what I write about comes from these areas. As any lawyer will tell you, each case that lands on the lawyer’s desk is a story in itself─having setting, characters, conflict, and a resolution of some kind. I am also blessed with having grown up in the Deep South during interesting periods of American history, namely World War II (that’s “two” and not “eleven” as I understand one TV news reader put it) and the years immediately following it, years marked by their own upheavals─the Korean and Vietnam wars, the civil rights revolution, and a President’s assassination.

Question 2
Did you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? If so, what’s the most interesting place you traveled?
The only traveling I do is back in time; and if I am unfamiliar with a place or entertain an uncertainty about it, I travel there electronically via the internet. For example, for use in a novel I am presently writing, the working title of which is Beyond Millstone, I searched for a 1965 road map of Texas to fashion a route that my protagonist, a lawyer, might follow as he travels westward toward Abilene, Texas, to find a missing heiress.

Question 3
Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?
I suppose to some extent I resemble each of the lawyers I write about in my novels Harpers’ Joy (Grace Abraham 2005), The Trials of Lawyer Pratt(Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery 2011), and The Locusts of Padgett County(Alondra Press 2012). In Lawyer Pratt, I include a number of “war stories” that grew out of my experiences as a trial lawyer and as an appellate judge. I guess the character Andrew Beauchamp, the criminal prosecutor-protagonist in Locusts, comes closest to being me and Candle Reid, the lawyer-protagonist in Harpers’ Joy, being the least like me. Both, however, make mistakes of judgment while wanting to do the right thing; but Candle can be lazy and is an alcoholic, separated from his wife and children.

Question 4
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I do read the reviews. I just wish there were more of them. They serve to encourage me to write more, if they are good, and to try to write better, if they are not so good.

Question 5
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Empire of the Summer Moon (Simon & Schuster 2010), an account of the rise and fall of the Comanche Indians in Texas, and The Harbinger (Charisma House Group 2011), a story that explains how the judgments of Isaiah 9:10 are relevant today.

Question 6
What are your current projects?
As I mentioned above, I am writing a novel presently entitled Beyond Millstone, having just finished the first draft. The plot, revolving as it does around a lawyer’s search for a missing heiress, takes the reader on a journey to Texas and introduces the reader along the way to interesting, sometimes quirky characters, such as a pair of ventriloquists, whose dummies “Kuddles” and“Sprinkles” hate one another’s operator, and a tent revivalist, Brother Jimmy Holcomb, who convinces Kuddles to become an evangelist, ministering to children. My principal focus today, however, is on promoting my recently published novel, The Locusts of Padgett County (Alondra Press 2012).

Question 7
If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Of all my creations, I am most fond of Tweeve Huggins, the wife of Delaware Huggins, the narrator of Her Own Law (Xlibris 1998), my first novel, and the aunt of Skeets McLendon, the twelve-year-old narrator of Familiar Shadows (Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery 2011). A female author friend once told me that Tweeve is her “role model.” Tweeve, a very determined, resourceful woman reminds me of my mother who, like Tweeve, though deprived of much in the way of formal education, took charge of everything and everyone around her. Tweeve, like my mom, views herself as gifted with having “walking around sense,” a gift that enables one, not only to meet any challenge, no matter what it is, but to prevail against it.

Question 8
Do you have any upcoming events?
I have a scheduled appearance before a senior-citizens group at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Columbia to talk about my writing and to promote my books, particularly my latest novel, The Locusts of Padgett County. The latter is a historically based novel set in the Deep South when racial prejudice shaped much of its laws and the administration of justice. The inspiration for the story is the 1909 South Carolina Supreme Court appeal from Greenville County, State v. Johnson, 84 S.C. 45, 65 S.E. 1023 (1909). The case, as does my story, involves a black janitor prosecuted for assault with intent to ravish, a death-penalty offense at the time. The janitor touched a white woman on the shoulder as she practiced piano in a school auditorium.
I’ll be speaking on January 9, 2013, at the noon gathering of the Retired Officers Wives at the Officers Club at Fort Jackson, SC.  I’ll be talking about “You Have It Within You,” which will refer to what to write about and the sources of stories.

All of Bert’s books, both novels and short-story collections, are listed on and Most are available in both book and electronic formats such as Kindle and Nook. Smashwords offers three of his novels in electronic formats at
He can be reached at
For a review of his latest work, see:


Bert Goolsby is a former Chief Deputy Attorney General of South Carolina who once headed the Criminal Division of the Office of Attorney General and served as Acting Solicitor or as a special prosecutor in a number of judicial circuits throughout the State. He is also a retired Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals. He attended the University of Alabama but later transferred to The Citadel where he received his undergraduate degree. He received his law degree from the University of South Carolina and an advanced law degree from the University of Virginia. Raised in Dothan, Alabama, he now resides with his wife Prue in Columbia, South Carolina. They have one son, Philip Lane Goolsby, M.D., of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(Bert wanted me to mention that I designed the book cover for his novel, The Trials of Lawyer Pratt.)
Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bert's novel, The Locusts of Padgett County. Drawing will be Friday, November 23.  Please leave an email address, or if you are the announced winner, contact me a

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winner of Murder in Marietta

The winner of Deborah Malone's novel Murder in Marietta is ----

Megan Parsons.


Congratulations Megan!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Colonial Quills Blog Features A Forted Frontier Holiday

On each Monday for the next two months, the authors of the Colonial Quills blog will give a gift of their writing for their readers!


The anthology is entitled A Forted Frontier Holiday: A Colonial American Anthology.  In nine installments, the authors will bring their characters from throughout colonial America into Fort Providence in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Here’s a list of the installments (including mine, which is Part 2 posted Nov.  12):

Part 1 - Inside Fort Providence by Carrie Fancett Pagels (Nov. 5)
Part 2 - A Providential Proposal by Susan Craft (Nov. 12)
Part 3 - Landlocked by Carla Olson Gade (Nov. 19)
Part 4 - Preserve My Life From Fear by Elaine Marie Cooper (Nov. 26)
Part 5 - A Gift from Buckskin Samson by Kathy Maher (Dec. 3)
Part 6 - Narrow Passage by Pat Iacuzzi (Dec. 10)
Part 7 - Untitled by Lynn Squire (Dec. 17)
Part 8 - Christmastide by Carrie Fancett Pagels (Dec. 24)
Part 9 - Amish Snow by Kelly Long (Dec. 31)

If you love a good story set in colonial America, then visit
Once on the blog, learn more about the authors of the anthology by visiting the Contributors Page.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Meet My Guest Author, Deborah Malone

Leave a comment and get a chance to win a copy of Murder in Marietta --                         drawing will be at 9 p.m. November 14

(Please, leave an email address, or, if you're not comfortable doing that, when I make the announcement and you are the winner, contact me at my email address listed on this site.)

What fun to “cyber meet” Deborah Malone (Debbie) after reading her first novel Death in Dahlonega while my sister and I were on one of our jaunts that happened to be in Dahlonega, GA.  And now, she’s written Murder in Marietta, where my sister lives. Can’t wait to purchase the book for my sister (and a copy for me too!).

Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega was a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for the 2012 Georgia Author of the Year in First Novel category.

She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the historic magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published, and her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails,” edited by Olin Jackson. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association. As a current member of the American Christian Fiction Writers she has established a blog where she reviews Christian Fiction.


Question 1
What was the inspiration or motivation behind the book?
Thank you so much for having me Susan.
Since this is a series, I’ll tell you a little why I wrote cozies.  I’ve always loved to read, so I think it was natural that I’d transition into writing. Mysteries have been my genre of choice since I was a young girl and loved to read Nancy Drew.  Cozy mysteries are one of my favorites, and Ann George has been a big influence on my writing. As for writing Christian fiction – Margaret Daley’s books were a big influence. I’d written several articles on Dahlonega and Marietta and I loved the settings. It was an easy choice for me.
Question 2
What is the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
     There aren’t any deep messages in Murder in Marietta, but there is a theme of forgiveness and faith. For the most part, I hope I make someone laugh and take them away from the stresses of real life for just a while. I want them to have some laugh out loud moments.
Question 3
As you researched for your book, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
When I was writing the article about Marietta, the one the book is based on, I discovered the owner of the Kennesaw House (now the Marietta Museum of History) had written a diary. I was able to get a copy and it was amazing. She and her family (husband and three girls) lived there during the Civil War. This family was from the north and they were right smack dab in the south so of course their outlook on war was different than those who lived around them. I was touched and awed to be reading about the life of someone who had lived over 100 years ago.
Question 4
If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Oh my goodness this is a hard one because there are three main characters. I think I’d like to meet Nana. She is a little spitfire who is not about to sit in a rocking chair and grow old. She has a wisdom about her that comes with age. However, I’m not sure I’d want to be around when she gets involved with some of her antics. J
Question 5
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I have several, but one of my favorite is Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Question 6
Upcoming events? 
I’m really excited about a couple of things coming up. On November 10  and 11 Dahlonega, GA, will be holding a book festival. I was invited to be one of the regional authors. Then my book signing/book launch for Murder in Marietta will be held November 17, 2012. Can you say, too much fun?
You can reach Debbie at several web sites:
You can buy Debbie’s books at: