Monday, May 1, 2017

Honor Bright by Diane Kalas ends May 8th

Please welcome back Diane Kalas to my blog! Diane is giving away a copy of her book Honor Bright
in choice of format. Be sure to read on down to find out how to enter. And don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are Feed Burner follower for an extra entry.

My current release is HONOR BRIGHT, An Inspirational Historical Romance Set in the West, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1.
George and Libbie Custer are secondary characters and hometown neighbors of my heroine in book 1. The story takes place two years before Custer’s last campaign, a time when tensions were escalating on both sides of the issues. Each book in Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series, takes the reader closer to the final event in the Little Bighorn Valley.
How did I become interested in the Custer story? I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and knew that Custer spent some of his childhood in my home state. A job transfer moved us to Ohio for several years where we traveled the I-75 north through Monroe, Michigan to visit family. Alongside the highway in Monroe is a huge billboard with Custer in uniform stating: Monroe, Michigan – boyhood home of the boy-general. A few years later, a temporary job transfer brought us back to Michigan for a year. My husband rented a house on Lake Erie in Monroe County.
At that time, I had no plans about Custer being in one of my future books. Out of curiosity, however, I visited the small Custer museum in Monroe, and a neighborhood bookstore where I purchased several books about George and Libbie Custer written by a local Custer historian. Next, I stopped by the Monroe County Library that has a fantastic Custer Collection.
The librarian informed me that next to Presidents Washington and Lincoln, no other historical figure in our country has as many books written about him as George A. Custer. She also mentioned that people living in Japan and Italy have made inquiries about Custer’s career. After all this time, people want to learn more details about the controversial boy-general!
At a county flea market, I found an original edition of Libbie Custer’s BOOTS AND SADDLES or Life in Dakota with General Custer, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1885. That was the first book Libbie wrote, years after George died. Cost: $6.00. I do not really believe in coincidences. I finished four other stories, before starting my current release: HONOR BRIGHT, An Inspirational Historical Romance Set in the West, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1.
George Armstrong Custer’s prankish career at the United States Military Academy put him last in his 1861 graduating class. Afterward, his flamboyant cavalry escapes during the Civil War brought a continual interest from the press of the day. Old men admired his courage and women saw him as a dashing figure. Today, however, mention Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer and his 7th Regiment of Cavalry, given to Custer as a reward for his Civil War record, and images of war against the Plains Indians come to mind. Current authors and historians write more books about Custer as villain, because of the post-Civil War years, than as hero.
When people react negatively to Custer’s name, it is because as a military officer he represented our government and its policies at that time. Our point of view today, concerning the western expansion after the Civil War, is sympathetic toward the Indians and highly critical of our actions against Native Americans.
The list of officers mentioned here guided and/or ordered Custer’s military career. General Alfred Terry, Custer’s immediate superior; Major-General Phil Sheridan, his close friend and mentor; Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman; President Ulysses S. Grant, commander in chief (all Civil War generals). In other words, Custer did not act alone.
My bibliography for Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series has exceeded my budget. Last month, I purchased two additional books on Custer. I’m hooked on research.
Some called the Little Bighorn Battle “a clash of cultures” and Custer, “a man of his time.” My hope is that the reader will enjoy the fictional story with interesting characters, set against the backdrop of an isolated fort in the Dakota Territory in 1874.
Leave a comment for a FREE paperback copy or E-reader copy of HONOR BRIGHT.
What do you think or have been told about George A. Custer?
Do you think reading a fictional account of George A. Custer’s military career, or any controversial person will influence your opinion about their character and reputation?

HONOR BRIGHT, Officers of the 7th Cavalry Series 1 by Diane Kalas

Spring 1874. Rebecca Brewster arrives at Fort Abraham Lincoln to preview life on the far western frontier, before her marriage to an officer in Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer’s famous 7th Cavalry Regiment. Becca is soon disillusioned with her childhood love who is critical of her tomboyish ways. He insists she behave as a lady in the footsteps of Libbie Custer.

Major Randall Steelman, second in command under Custer, finds Becca’s fun-loving spirit and open affectionate ways charming. As an officer, however, Rand’s strict code of conduct forbids him to act on his interest in a woman when it involves a brother officer. How can he stand by and watch Becca marry an arrogant hothead with unbridled ambition, when he finds Becca more irresistible each day?

Amid increasing tension between the hostile Sioux Indians and the government that Custer represents, Rand walks a tightrope balancing professional duties and a friendship with his commander. Custer’s reputation is two-fold: Capable cavalry officer and fearless leader; arrogant and petty tyrant.

With one-year left to serve his country, Rand is determined to retire with a blemish-free record and with his rank intact. Becca must make a life-changing decision, before it’s too late and she marries the wrong man. 


Diane Kalas collects antique books written by men and women who lived through the American Civil War, and/or who pioneered out West. With a degree in interior design, she enjoys touring historical sites, especially Federal era homes with period furniture. Published writers Pamela Griffin, Gina Welborn, and Kathleen Maher have been critique partners and mentors. Diane’s biggest challenge is writing Inspirational Historical Romance. Her biggest distraction is her fascination with historical research. Diane is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

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  1. Thank you, Debbie, for hosting me on your wonderful blog. I appreciate your work on my behalf.

  2. It does sound like a great book. Sometimes reading a fictional account of a historical person fleshes out their life for me. Good or bad, I trust that the author has done their research, so if they haven't I am at their mercy!!! bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

    1. Hi Connie: I've spent a lot of time researching Custer. Mostly because I couldn't stop. George was a complex person with a lot of really good character traits, and a lot of bad judgment. His wife was loyal and devoted to her Autie (boyhood name). Thank you for leaving a comment.

  3. I have never been a 'history buff', but in saying that I love reading historical fiction. I think the difference is that it's more about the common person. Therefore I don't remember much about Custer. As far as reading about any controversial person being an influence on me, I don't think so.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book, it sounds like a winner!

    wfnren at aol dot com

    1. Hi Wendy: During my lengthy research on George, I began to experience a range of emotions: really liked him because he was an animal lover and took excellent care of his horses and pack hounds. George adored his wife and was considerate of her comfort on those isolated frontier forts. Then I cringed reading how harsh he could be to his own troopers. Those enlisted men were not allowed to marry, unless they had their commander's approval. Lack of good food, and living conditions made life difficult and lonely.

      A reader of my 3-book series will learn a lot about Custer and what all happened leading up to his last campaign. You'll shake your head at the stupidity, arrogance, and hatred of fellow human beings that brought about the end of Custer and the free-roaming, hunting Plains Indians lifestyle. So sad all around.

  4. I enjoy historical fiction and this sounds like a good book! I thought Diane Kalas was a new author to me, but then I found that she has a story in Love From the Past, which I haven't yet had time to read. Debbie, I'm excited to soon read your new book, Sword of the Matchmaker! I am also a feedburner follower. lelandandbecky AT reagan DOT com

    1. Hi Becky: My book in Love From the Past is PATRIOT HEART, Journey Home Series 1. The hero, Dan, won my heart completely because he's suffering from soldier's heart/fatigue (PTSD today). Hope you enjoy reading his journey to wellness and happiness with the heroine.

      I enjoy the research for my books as much as seeing the story come to life on the page. Thank you for leaving a comment.

    2. Thank you, Becky! I'm super excited to see it out!

  5. Reading historical novels help me to understand the time and place of the setting. I am a feed burner follower.

    1. Hi Nancy: You'll learn a lot about what happened in the Dakota Territory 1874-76 in my 3-book series. Also about George and Libbie Custer in my new 3-book series: Officers of the 7th Cavalry. You will learn how crazy stupid some of the decisions were that brought about the last campaign for the boy-general. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  6. The only thing I have heard about Custer was from movies. Arrogant and one bad decision.I think that reading a story about him would help me to form an opinion.

    1. Hi Jan: I'm familiar with those horrible Hollywood movies about Custer. Bad research. Custer was arrogant and extremely confident, an excellent cavalryman, devoted husband to Libbie. So interesting to research and so many numerous books written about him. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  7. When I was in 11th grade my history teacher was part Indian, so she taught from that perspective. It was a decisive time in our history with hard choices to make. The antique books you have sound like treasures. Thank you for the chance, as this sounds like a fascinating read. Blessings

    1. Hi Lucy: I understand the Indian's point of view and can imagine how hard it was to lose your free-roaming lifestyle. So many mistakes were made that at times I found it hard to keep researching.

      I love my antiques books, mostly to read how people wrote back in the mid-1800s. So different from today. I treasure an 1859 family medical reference book that's huge to hold. Also, a Webster's Dictionary 1859, that's huge. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  8. My husband and I have been to the site of "The Battle of Little Big Horn". Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
    Janet E.

  9. Hi Library Lady: I would like to visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Maybe this summer. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  10. Congratulations, Lucy!! You are Diane's winner! She will be contacting you soon.