Monday, March 5, 2018

The Story Behind the Story by Tamera Lynn Kraft

The story behind the story: The idea of writing a series of novels about Ladies who graduated from Oberlin College before the Civil War came about because I was interested in women preachers and women leaders of Christian causes. I had an idea of writing about them for some blog posts. Oberlin College kept coming up in my research. That's when the germ of an idea sprang up.

Oberlin College was the first college to allow women to graduate with a bachelor's degree. Oberlin College was founded in 1833 in Oberlin, Ohio by two Presbyterian ministers, and became the first college in the United States to admit women as well as men. In the early days, women could only get women's studies certificates, but that changed in 1837. Four women - Mary Kellogg, Mary Caroline Rudd, Mary Hosford, and Elizabeth Prall – entered the college degree program, the Collegiate Department. All but Kellogg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts College Degree.

Lucy Stone, a Christian who fought for a woman's right to vote, was a graduate at Oberlin College in 1847. Antoinette Brown Blackwell graduated in 1847 and was the first woman to complete a theological degree in 1850. Blackwell was the first ordained minister in the US. Many of the women who graduated from Oberlin were involved in abolition, women's suffrage, child labor and abuse laws, ministry and overseas missions work, and prohibition. These women forged the way for those who came after them.

One other interesting fact about Oberlin was its commitment to equality in races. It was one of the first US colleges that allowed blacks to earn college degrees from its beginning. In 1862, Oberlin graduate Mary Ann Patterson was the first African American woman in the US to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. She went on to become the first black principal in a public school. Oberlin also became the center of controversy when Oberlin student chased down slave catchers to rescue a fugitive slave from them. The incident became known as the Oberlin Wellington Rescue. and 20 students were arrested.

My character in Red Sky Over America, America Leighton is a student at Oberlin College in 1857. She wants to become a missionary, but she believes if she doesn't have the courage to confront her slave owning father in Kentucky, she won't have the boldness she needs on the mission field.

Red Sky Over America
Ladies of Oberlin, Book 1
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. -- Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.
You can purchase Red Sky Over America at these online sites:

 About Tamera:
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novels and novellas in print. She’s been married for 39 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. 
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera on her website at

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog:


  1. Thanks for sharing about this book. I look forward to reading about America and the other Ladies of Oberlin.

  2. It's always nice to learn how the author came to write a book. Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes for Red Sky Over America. I have this on my TBR list.