Monday, April 29, 2013

Giveaways everyday for Kathleen L Maher's release party!

Do you know anyone who doesn't love a party? I've been anticipating the day that I'd be able to throw my wonderful friend and critique partner a party for her debut! It's an exciting day and one that Kathy deserves for all her hard work. So please congratulate Kathy on a job well done!

There are GIVEAWAYS EVERY DAY as well as a gift basket for the grand prize! Today Kathy is giving away an Irish collection and her debut novella, Bachelor Buttons. (See below for details)
 Bachelor Buttons, my debut novella, was released May 1st through Helping Hands Press, and I am just thrilled about it, since it is not only my first book baby, and set in my favorite time period, but I have taken the characters directly from my family history. Set in New York City during the Civil War, the story gives a glimpse of the draft riots through the eyes of Rose Meehan, the daughter of an Irish potato famine refugee. Rose is based on my maternal great-great grandmother, Katherine Meehan, whose true life story is quite remarkable.


Katherine Meehan lived in Manhattan’s lower east side and was a girl during the War of the Rebellion, as her contemporaries up North called it. My mother always told the story the way she remembers her great grandmother recalled it. Katherine walked with her mother through Washington Square Park on the week of July 13, 1863 and described seeing men hanging from the lampposts. And well she might have, since it is reported that over 11 freedmen were lynched during that terrible week of lawlessness and violence. The draft riots have been called the only Civil War battle fought in New York.


In my story I have changed Katherine’s name to Rose, and used the name Kate for a fictitious sister who is bound for the convent. Rose’s personality is purely a figment of my imagination, because I do not know what the real Katherine was like. But I can well imagine she might have been feisty and perhaps as flirtatious as Rose, given the actual story of her unusual courtship. The dates of her courting age have been manipulated a bit to fit with my Civil War story. Katherine wouldn’t have come of age for another decade, but the rest of the story is based on truth.

Katherine was a beautiful young lass, and in love with two men—a fine Irish doctor, whose name I do not know, and an Irish violin teacher named William Lee. It is rumored among at least one of my ancestors that William Lee was a distant relative of Robert E. Lee, but that may well be blarney. I have not researched the matter enough to confirm or deny.  ;)

Apparently, Katherine Meehan was so besotted with both gentlemen that she couldn’t make up her mind which one to marry, so she proposed a contest and the victor would win her hand. She told them to run a foot race.

From earliest childhood I remember my grandmother telling me this story, corroborating with my mother’s version later in life. The doctor and the violin teacher were in love with Katherine, and both intended to marry her. But being gentlemen, they agreed to Miss Meehan’s wishes and settled the courtship rivalry in this unconventional way. They ran a foot race. Presumably through lower Manhattan, probably though the tenement streets or allies with dogs barking and chasing after them, clothes lines flapping in the breeze from the bay, and neighborhood women gawking and gossiping. No telling how long the course or even what time of year it might have been, but for the purposes of my story, I put it in July, just two days before the riots erupted over the draft.

The draft was the common name for Lincoln’s Enrollment Act, which had been signed in March. All eligible men from 20-45 years of age were registered, and exemptions were given if a man was married with children or if he could pay a $300 commutation fee for a substitute. It was subsequently accused of being a rich man’s war  but a poor man’s fight. The immigrant Irish, being too poor to buy their way out, opposed the draft, and on July 13, crowds moved uptown to protest. Demonstrations quickly turned to looting, burning, and worse as tempers flared and the flames were fanned by Copperhead rabble rousers exploiting the socioeconomic inequalities. Targets of the violence included clothing stores like the Brooks’ Brothers which was looted, and Republican papers such as the Times and the Herald and freedmen who were exempt from the draft were attacked. Even the colored orphanage was set fire, though no children were harmed due to the bravery of Irish firefighters and other heroes. Innocent black men were lynched, businesses burned, and in all, over 100 died and thousands were injured. It was a very dark moment in history.

To offset the darkness, I give Rose’s story a happily ever after. A foot race, one winner. But will it be a happily ever after for both bachelors? I won’t spoil the outcome of my story, but I can tell you that Katherine Meehan’s violin player won her foot race, and my great, great grandmother married William Lee. In the true story of Katherine and William Lee, the doctor is a rather tragic and noble figure. He never marries, apparently remaining in love with Katherine his entire life. According to family history, every winter Katherine and William’s struggling family received a ton of coal, compliments of a mysterious benefactor. And when the good doctor died some years later, the mysterious gift ceased to come.

Kathy will be on Giovanni's radio show on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. Be sure to tune in and listen!  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2013/04/30/kathleen-maher-cry-of-freedom-v3-bachelor-buttons

Kathleen L. Maher is a historical romance writer, represented by Terry Burns of Hartline literary Agency. Her Civil War novel took first place in the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest. She lives in upstate New York with her soul mate and their three children, plus two Newfoundland dogs.


Bachelor Buttons can be purchased on Amazon on May 1st.



 Kathy's giving away this fun Irish collection, including an Irish soda bread mix and a pdf of her debut novella, Bachelor Buttons. Tell us a little about your heritage or ask Kathy a question about hers to be entered into the drawing. 
Don't forget to leave your email addy. 5 possible entries! If you follow this blog, you get an extra entry. Follow CFHS (Christian Fiction Historical Society)  and you get another. Share on fb or twitter for two more. That’s a total of five possible entries. Good luck! And be sure to let me know what you've done so I can give you the entries. 

GRAND PRIZE: Trader Joe's bag filled with goodies. Tea cup with strainer, tea bags, loose tea, coffee, cake candle, decorative candle large Better Homes and Garden Candle, 2 pads of paper, pen, Family Guardian by Laurie Alice Eakes, and a pink necklace and earrings from Dressbarn! Everyday you leave a comment gives you one entry. A possible total of 7 entries! Grand prize drawn May 6th. AND a pdf copy of Bachelor Buttons!

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.
Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Tuesday, April 30th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

75 comments:

  1. That is some really neat family history. I would love to win Batchelor's Buttons. If I do win, I will post a review for it as well.

    I am a Feedburner follower.

    deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Deanna. I love family history. It is so interesting to find out where we come from and how our ancestors played a part in history.

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    2. Good morning, Deanna and Debbie Lynne! Oh my goodness, I am so delighted by the party. Thank you, my friends. That cake looks delicious, but I'll be good and have some after I eat a healthy lunch. heehee

      Thank you Deanna, for offering to review if you win. That means alot to us writers. Bless you! Good luck

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  2. I don't know much about my family history beyond my greatgrandparents. I have always admired stories of the Irish and am fascinated by the grit they showed when they left Ireland during the famine and made their way to America. I've felt ashamed that they were treated as second-class. I would love to win this collection and read the book.

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    1. Thank you for coming by Connie. I've bee blessed in that my grandmother's cousin has done extensive genealogy research and then hired what she couldn't find. Our roots have been traced back to Medieval times. Some fun stuff in there. And it is a shame that anyone was ever treated as second class citizens in our country. That's why we must remember so we don't repeat.

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    2. Connie, you are so right. Sadly, every new wave of immigrants seemed to get that treatment. But I'm with you--I admire the grit and courage our ancestors showed coming here. So glad they did!
      Good luck on the giveaway. Thank you for coming and sharing virtual cake with me!

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    3. Debbie Lynne, you simply must make stories with your family history!

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  3. bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

    I already follow Debbie's blog.

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  4. My heritage is Northern Ireland. My grandmother came here from there almost 70 years ago. My family haven't known much about her family over there. After 11 years of searching for her relatives, I FINALLY found them. Actually, Friday was the first email I received from her niece. What I hope will be many MANY more. So exciting!
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. OH my Gosh, Amy, that is exciting!! I wish I could connect with some of my family. My great-grandfather on my father's and his father was a stowaway on a ship from Sicily, Italy. But contacting any of them would be tough as I don't speak Italian and most Italians don't speak English. We did take a trip to Italy a few years back, but were in the Northern part. We hope to return to see southern Italy someday.

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    2. Amy, fabulous sleuthing on your part! I pray those connections continue to bless you.
      Thank you for sharing about your family. Do you have any desire to visit the Emerald Isle? If I were rich, I would go and send home a Connemara pony and maybe a retired thoroughbred or two. And definitely an Irish Wolfhound. :)

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  5. I follow this blog via email
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  6. I follow CFHS blog via email
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  7. https://twitter.com/AmyBooksy/status/328847136328388609
    Shared via twitter.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  8. I have Irish, German, and English heritage. Some of my ancestors were actually Hessian soldiers who stayed after the war!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    I follow this blog as well as CFHS

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    1. Wow that is very cool, Kate. And aren't you glad they stayed. :o) So do you know any more information? Did they stay for love or for new opportunities or adventure?

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    2. Kate, how fascinating! Have you ever thought of creating a story with your Hessian soldier ancestors? I am intrigued.
      Thank you for celebrating with me. Good luck on the giveaway!

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  9. I have many different heritages...the most interesting is some irish..and how they came over to america to start fresh with very little money. thanks for the post...so interesting. truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm seeing a trend of Irish here. ;o) Me Scottish blood is feeling a bit lonely. That did seem to be the trend of immigrants. They came with little money in hopes of making a new and brighter future. They had to be hard workers to attempt such a feat.

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    2. Hi, Eliza
      Ah, the Irish eyes are smiling. I definitely agree-- it must have been perilous and frightening to travel across the ocean with no worldly wealth to offer a contingency plan. God bless their spirit!

      Thank you for sharing, and for attending the party! Hope to see you around this week.

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  10. Man, a lucky woman with two option....poor guys.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. The way the doctor took care of Katherine and her family--including his ex rival--always struck me as soooo romantic. I had to give him a happily ever after, too.

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  11. LOL! Yep that's right. And it is hard not to feel sorry for the other guy, too!

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  12. Very interesting. I so love history! My grandma was Irish and my mom ways that is where we get our temper from! :) Though none of us are read heads! I follow this blog and Christian Fiction Historical Society. Thanks!

    Kim LitlePokie@aol.com

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    1. Hi, Kim. Oh, yes, Irish tempers are legendary. Just ask Mr. Maher. heehee you might get a chance to do just that later this week .
      Thank you for coming by. Hope to see you around all week for the fabulous prizes Debbie Lynne has in store.

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  13. Hey Kim! So glad to have you stop by! Thanks for being a follower of this blog and 'The Historical Society'! We love history, too. ;o) Good luck!

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  14. Yay! Happy release week Kathleen! I love the Civil War era, and I can't wait to read this novella. I have heard so many good things about it already. Batchelor buttons are one of my favorite flowers. They grew wild on my grandparents farm in Oregon. We used to pick them and make flower crowns for our heads. Nice memories.
    Keep writing!! carrie (at) turansky (dot) com.
    Carrie

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    1. Hey Carrie! How fun. We used to make our crowns from either Dandelions or wild violets or clover. All precious memories. OH to me a child again. er. Maybe not. I'll just help my grandbaby make them when she gets a little older. lol

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    2. oh, yeah, I remember those flower necklaces--we made ours from field daisies and dandelions. Were your wild Buttons pink, blue or purple? I get a variety in my garden, but I love the bold blue the best.
      Thanks, Carrie. you are ever sweet and supportive!

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  15. I've been wanting to read this book, and then I saw Milanos in the picture and now I MUST enter! :) LOL!

    I a really a big mix. I don't think I have Irish in my line, but my grandpa (unbiological) had some.

    I am mainly Hispanic and Czechoslovakian. :)

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

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    1. Oops keyboard too small mistakes! I meant I AM really a big mix. Not "I a" LOL!

      Sorry.

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    2. My daughter in law is part Hispanic and she is a spunky, kind, and completely lovely girl. I may model my next heroine after her. Even though my grandmother would say the Irish are the most beautiful women in the world, knowing my DIL Amanda has taught me first hand otherwise ;)
      Thank you for coming by, Amada. I'll save an extra package of Milanos in case you win.

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    3. Hey Amada. Yeah, no Irish in me either. What is kind of neat is that my hubby and I carry close to the same heritage, so my children are close to the same percentage as we are.

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  16. Congratulations, Kathleen. I know your book will be wonderful! Katherine sure had a an interesting story.

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    1. Thanks so much, Vickie!
      There is more to Katherine's story. She lived in the German section later in life with William and her family when the tragedy of the General Slocum happened. I've blogged about it on my blog here http://kathleenlmaher.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-york-citys-titanic-general-slocum.html

      Thank you for coming by and lending your encouragement and support! You are a blessing

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    2. Hey Vickie! Thanks for coming by. The story is wonderful and so much fun. Just loved it.

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  17. I started reading Bachelor Buttons last night and I LOVE it! Even more now that I've read this story about Katherine Meehan. Wouldn't she be delighted and surprised to know her story inspired you with your first book baby? WOW! Congrats Kathy!!!

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    1. It is so good I just didn't want to put it down. And then when I got to the end I wished it wasn't a novella because I fell in love with the characters. But this isn't her first baby. She has two others, finished and ready for a publisher to snatch up. And oh my goodness! The twins are delectable! Opposites in every way so there is one to love no matter what kind of a hero you like. ;o) Or you might just love em both, like me! And then their is the older brother's story...mmmm

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    2. Hey, Jocelyn! I'm delighted you've come by today. Thank you for your kind words about the novella, and your generous sentiments. Debbie Lynne is far too generous about my writing. I cut my sharp puppy teeth on her poor critiquing hands. She taught me so much, and put up with far too much. :)

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  18. I enjoyed reading Bachelor Buttons...and I really love the title and cover! Kathleen, I am sure this is just the first in a long line of books that you will be penning and having published. Congrats on the release! God bless!

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    1. Hey Chaplain Debbie! Thanks for coming by and helping us celebrate. So glad you got a chance to read Kathy's story. Good luck on the drawings!

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    2. Chaplain Debbie, you are such an encourager. May it be as you say! But I believe Debbie Lynne is next and hers will be something big and fabulous. :) We always said that as critique partners we would go hand in hand.

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  19. Kathy I'm so excited for you,I can't wait to read your new book. Debbie thanks for the terrific party. As for my family history...on my mom's side there is Native American and Irish on my dad's side there is Welsh and German. I follow on FeedBurner I shared this on FB and I follow CFHS. avonmathews@yahoo.com

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    1. Ah, Teresa, you are kindred. The Italians say Paisan when they meet a fellow Italian. We Irish should have a word like that when we greet one another. :)
      Thank you for celebrating with me~ Your excitement is contagious :)

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    2. Yay Teresa! I have Welsh in me too! And German! My maiden name was Brinkman. How neat that you have Native American. Would love to hear that story! Thanks for being a follower and for coming by to help us celebrate.

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  20. Congratulation Kathleen on your new book. I can't wait to read it. I love to read these type of books that deal with the irish. I also love to read about the Civil War. Ireland is one of my favorites to read about. I just finished a book that what in the same area.
    Thanks for the contest, Good Luck on Bachelor Buttons. I know its going to be a real hit.

    I follow on Feedburner.

    Mary Duff
    missniceguy@hotmail.com

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    1. Thank you, Mary! I'm thrilled that Bachelor Buttons hit a few of your interests. We are much alike in our appreciation for those topics in history. Hoping you enjoy it!

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    2. Thanks for coming by Mary. I love stories of Irish, too. Good thing with an Irish crit partner who writes Irish stories. heehee

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  21. Well,, here I go again. I won't go into as much detail as the first time, because it deleted it and have to start over. I don't know a lot about my Ancesters. Only that my grandparents all moved to TX. from the Carolina's. I had a great-grandfather who fought in the Civil Wars and is buried in a small town in TX. where I grew up. Somewhere down the line my parents both had a Indian grandmother. On Mom's side I know less. here mom died when she was only 5. I did know one of her aunts, but was young enough not to think of asking for some of this information. I do know we have a big number of Redheads in our large family inheritated from somewhere. Now, all of the older ones are gone, including my parents. For extra entries- I am a follower of this blog by feedburner, also of CFHS blog, And, I shared this give-away on my FB page. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hey, Maxie--thank you for always coming to the blogs and being so supportive. I was like you--too young to know the questions to ask about family history. My mother was tenacious and told the stories over and over, so I absorbed a few. Redheads . . .hmmm. Maybe you do have a bit of the Irish in you! I envy you your Native American. As far as I know, I don't have that.

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    2. Wow I am just loving all this family history. I live in SC, Maxie. Very interesting stuff. There is so much information we can get from our library if we use their online information. I did a little research on my husbands family. Not real fast but it is there if one has the time.

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  22. I am also a follower of Kathleen if that counts! MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  23. Always fun to discover a book's inspiration, and doubly thrilling to know it's YOURS, Kathleen. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! What a thrill to have you come by. Lord bless you!

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  24. Well I myself am a Norwegian,german,mix. My grandpa and grandma came over in a boat from Norway and my sis is lucky enough to have the trunk they packed in!! I married an Irishman and don't know his entire history but have always thought about going to visit, such lovely country!! I would love to win the novella it sounds great!

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    1. Oh how fun, Jojo, just to see the trunk they packed when they sailed over. How very neat! Married an Irishman? I'd be dyong to go too! Was he borm here or in Ireland?

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  25. Forgot to say I am a facebook follower, a twitter follower and a feedburner follower! I love books! But I love learning about the authors even more!

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    1. Thank you, Jojo! Does the Norwegian trunk have those lovely hand painted designs on it? What a treasure that must be. I hope you get to visit Ireland some day.

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  26. Kathleen, That is some awesome family history! I love to read things like this. It's so fascinating to me. I can't wait to read your novella. Congrats on your publication :)

    Debbie Lynne, I know I don't make it over here often, but when I do you always have some of the best posts! I follow through GFC & feedburner. Have a great evening!

    homesteading at charter dot net

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    1. Anne, I am so blessed to have you come and visit. Thank you, and double thanks for your kind words.

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    2. Awe thank you, Anne. That means a lot to hear you say that! I'm so glad you enjoy them. Thanks for being a follower and good luck!

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  27. What a beautiful cake!

    Would love to read this book - love Civil War stories.

    My ancestors are the fighting MacGregor clan from Scotland & one of my German ancestors, "Bluejacket" had an outdoor drama, in Lima, Ohio, written about him.

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaways!

    I follow this blog, CFHS, & feedburner.

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. I know! I wish I could make a cake like that! Yum! and YAY! A Scottish and German person! But Italian and Welsh too for me. ;o)

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  28. How do you start researching your family history?
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Hey Janet. The easiest way for me was going to my library and they had an online program that I searched. I looked up the oldest relative and found out his information and then went from there.

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  30. And the winner of Monday's basket and novella is Teresa!! Congratulations. Random.org selected your number. I will email you for your contact information.

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  31. If you are stopping by be sure TO LEAVE A COMMENT because even if you didn't win today's giveaway if you comment on each day's post you will have 7 entries into the grand prize Trader Joe's bag full of goodies!

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  32. I actually have some Irish in my family and German, Native American, and English. We are a Heinz-57 family. Ooh, the character has my name. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. Hey Rose, She sure does and what a fun heroine she is! I can't believe all the Irish! Thanks for coming by! Good luck!

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  34. I'm too late for the contest, and that's ok. Mostly I wanted to add my huge congrats and hugs to Kathleen for her new book. She's such a sweet encourager and I'm thrilled for her success!! May God bless her new release and give her many, many more to come.

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  35. I had left a comment, but now cannot find it! I think my 'puter is taking revenge on me for using it so much. I also have McGregor from the Scottish side and Irish in me also. I love ancestry history!
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com
    feedburner

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  36. Really interesting! Well done! Beautiful post in every way!
    irish historical research

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