Tag Archive | Tennessee History

The Smoky Mountain Saga Continues!

You asked, I listened, and I’m so glad I did!

Thank you readers for all the emails asking me to continue my Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga. I had originally intended for the series to be just three books, but you changed my mind.

Yesterday, book four, “Rumors of the Renegade,” was released. It’s currently available in e-book only, but the paperbacks are coming soon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7R7357

I had so much fun going back to Cades Cove. Not just in the written word, but actually visiting there. We took more than one trip to the mountains over the last six months, and every time I go into the cove, I feel like I’m stepping into a familiar world as well as into the past. It’s easy for me to envision the Larsen family sitting on their front porch sharing tales, or simply watching the fireflies dance.

There’s something serene about the cove that puts me at peace.

“Rumors of the Renegade” tells Lucas Larsen’s story, and also continues on with the lives of Lily and Caleb. I haven’t yet decided if there will be a book 5, but I’d love your input! You swayed me before, so you could very well sway me again.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for traveling these old roads with me. As long as my fingers can type, and my mind stays sharp, I intend to keep the journey going.

In the Footsteps of the Past, We, too, Shall Walk…

 

 

 

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Getting to Know Lucas Larsen

If you’ve read my Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, you already know Lucas Larsen. And if you haven’t read any of the Cades Cove books, this is your opportunity to get to know a little about the obnoxious, red-haired brother who gives everyone in the family grief.

Born January 9, 1852, Lucas was Buck and Rose Larsen’s first son. When he came into the world squalling, his two older sisters didn’t know quite what to think of him, but they did all they could to learn how to love him. Lucas didn’t make it easy.

When he got old enough to understand the importance of working the farm, his pa had already been teaching Lucas’s oldest sister, Lily, how to run things. Violet, his other sister, paid no mind to working outside and spent her days doing women’s work alongside their ma.

Lucas became bitter, feeling no one paid him the attention he deserved. He wanted to be the one at his pa’s side, working the land, but it seemed there was no place for him. He grew to hate the farm and everything associated with it.

His ma birthed several more babies after him–some of which died–but eventually, he was given two little brothers, Horace and Isaac. Lucas enjoyed having someone younger to boss, and he took advantage of tormenting his brothers whenever he could. He teased them relentlessly, to the point they started to fear him. But, Lucas liked it that way.

He learned how to cuss at a young age and frequently got scolded for it. His family was active at the Baptist church, and his ma oftentimes quoted scripture. She claimed God didn’t like cussing, but Lucas had never heard Him complain, so he couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about.

When the war came between the North and the South, Lucas wanted to fight, but was too young. He believed soldiering would be a perfect fit for his aggressive ways, not to mention, get him off the farm. He was one of the few people in the country upset when the war ended. He’d never gotten his chance to fight.

Regardless, Lucas managed to cause other kinds of trouble. He carried out some despicable things, and hurt those closest to him. You can read his entire story in the three-book saga, starting with “Whispers from the Cove.” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZYYY5WK

I appreciate the many readers who have asked me to continue this saga. And, truthfully, Lucas himself has been pestering me to tell the rest of his story!

His many inner demons continue to haunt him. His story continues in book four of the Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, “Rumors of the Renegade.” This book is still being written, and I hope to see it released in early August. So, stay tuned!

If you’d rather listen to “Whispers from the Cove,” it’s also available on audible.

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Whispers-from-the-Cove-Audiobook/B07B3GFRYP

Book two, “Hushed into Silence” is currently in production.

I’m thrilled to be able to share my love of Cades Cove with you all! I hope the Larsen family has worked their way into your hearts, just like they have mine.

And please, if there are others in this series who you’d like to hear more about, please tell me!

Happy reading!

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway! Whispers from the Cove

In celebration of my newest release, “Whispers from the Cove,” I’m giving away 5 signed copies through a Goodreads Giveaway! Now thru June 19th.

Whispers from the Cove

Smoky Mountain Secrets Saga, Book 1

Lily Larsen has never been afraid of anything, yet the effects of the war are wearing her down.

Her beautiful home in Cades Cove, Tennessee, lies deep in the Smoky Mountains. For decades, her family has farmed and lived peacefully, until the soldiers came and made every day a struggle to survive.

Whether they wear gray or blue, the men in uniform arrive unexpectedly and take whatever they want. Not only do they steal food and livestock, but some believe they can help themselves to anything they desire. Lily now has something to fear.

Caleb Henry is running from his own battles, bleeding and broken. He seeks refuge in the cove and literally runs into Lily. Because he’s injured, she shows compassion and sneaks him into her cabin, trusting her folks to tend him.

But there’s more to Caleb than they see on the surface. His arrival changes their lives, and what happens going forward can never be undone.

You can enter, by clicking below. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispers from the Cove by Jeanne Hardt

Whispers from the Cove

by Jeanne Hardt

Giveaway ends June 19, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Getting to Know Lily Larsen

In less than a week, book one of my latest saga will be released! I’m so excited to bring this story into the hands of readers. It’s been in my heart for a great while. From the first time I traveled the loop road around Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, the beautiful setting became a part of me. I do all I can to visit the Smokies at least once a year.

In anticipation of the release of “Whispers from the Cove,” I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my heroine, Lily Larsen. Yes, she’s fictitious, but she represents the amazing people of the cove who worked hard and made a life for themselves in the mountains. Though Cades Cove is now part of a national park, when you travel there, you’ll step back in time and easily visualize what it must have been like to live in the beautiful, lush valley. Many of the cabins, churches, and other historical buildings remain. 

Lily Larsen was born February 23rd, 1847. The first child of many to Rose and Howard (Buck) Larsen. Labeled a ‘mountain girl’ from the time she took her first steps.

She followed her pa around their small farm and learned all she could from him and her ma. As she grew, and her siblings began to arrive, she understood the meaning of responsibility. Not only did she have an abundance of daily chores, she was also expected to help with the children.

Lily’s tough-as-nails demeanor made her perfect for mountain life. She feared nothing, including hard work.

The family farm thrived, thanks in part to Lily’s help. Her optimism kept her folks smiling and lifted the spirits of her brothers and sister. Her sister, Violet, became her dearest friend. Though their personalities differed, their bond couldn’t be stronger.

At the opening of “Whispers,” Lily is seventeen. Her hands aren’t soft, like those of pampered city girls. They’re callused, rough, and capable. She uses them to plow fields, skin wild game, and cuddle her youngest brother. Her heart is as big as her ambition, but she now has something to fear.

She’s become a beautiful young woman, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The war between North and South is raging, and soldiers wearing both blue and gray arrive in the cove to find refuge and take whatever they want. They feel entitled to it. Some see the mountain women as spoils of war, and one particular rebel soldier has his eyes on Lily. She’s not naive by any means and knows his intentions are far from those of matrimony.

Even before the soldiers arrived, the war created other problems for her family. Her pa went off to fight, but returned home maimed. Now her folks have lost hope, but Lily’s determined to keep her family’s spirit alive and the farm somehow thriving. She’ll never allow herself to be defeated. That quality is one of her greatest traits.

She longs for love and a family of her own, but the war has made it impossible. Every day, she prays the fighting will end and life will become as it once was. Though they’ve had to struggle to survive, Lily certainly won’t give up hope. It’s not in her character.

 

A Part of History

Our world is imperfect. No one can argue that point. We all have different opinions on many topics, and I’m incredibly thankful that we live in a country where we have the freedom to speak our minds. Many people around the world are not given that freedom.

I also have the freedom to write what I choose. This is an amazing blessing. When I started my career as an author I was compelled to write about southern history. Mainly Civil War era. To date I’ve completed seven books that take place during that time. Some are before the war, some after, and one takes place during the war.

I understand that the industry shies away from this time period and that they currently don’t wish to promote it. I also understand how difficult it is to discuss racial tensions and some of the terrible things that transpired in our country’s past. But something deep inside of me pushed me to write these stories. I feel that I handle the issues with respect, but I also do my best to be historically accurate–even though I’m writing fiction. Many of the events that my books are centered around are true. I love to blend fact with fiction. I think it’s important to keep major events true to history.

I may be frowned upon for treading on tender subject matter, but I believe it’s important that we don’t forget how things used to be. Hopefully by remembering, we can prevent those horrific things from happening again. It’s also important to remember that no matter how horrible things might be, people always find a way to love each other. My stories have happy endings, just as I hope that everyone reading them will find in their own lives.

I will always grasp onto hope and believe in the power of love. And I thank God every day for my freedom.

 

Civil War

Busy, Busy, Busy

Have you ever found that when your calendar is full, you accomplish more? Not just because you have a lot to do, but because you have to squeeze a bunch of stuff into a small amount of time.

I find that when I have nothing on my list of to-do’s, I fritter time away and put things off that could be done right at the moment. It’s too easy to tell myself that I have plenty of time to accomplish something because my plate is empty.

But, I don’t like an empty plate. I prefer to have it overflowing with a multitude of things to do. Things that will move me one step closer to accomplishing my long-term goals.

I had someone say to me today, “I thought you could do things spur of the moment because you aren’t working right now.” No, I don’t have a regular job, but boy am I working right now! And I’m loving it!

I’ve been blessed with a husband who is encouraging me to pursue my dream of being a full-time writer. In a very short time I’ll have my first published novel available on Amazon, and I still have high hopes of catching the eye of an agent who will fall in love with my work and help me move my career forward. I see the benefits of both self-publishing and traditional publishing and am happy that the industry allows these great options for writers.

So, though I’m not working a traditional nine-to-five job right now, I am by no means ‘not working.’ And the closer I get to publication, the busier I am. Getting a book in print is just the beginning. I’m studying up on marketing, and learning all I can about how to get the word out. This is a process, just like any job. But I have to say that I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else right now. I’m ready to take the challenge and run with it!

I would love to hear from all of you other authors out there. Tell me about your journey.

And most importantly…

WRITE ON!!

Marked

River Romance, Book 1

Cora Craighead wants more than anything to leave Plum Point, Arkansas, aboard one of the fantastic steamboats that pass by her run-down home on the Mississippi River. She’s certain there’s more to life out there…somewhere. Besides, anything has to better than living with her pa who spends his days and nights drinking and gambling.

Douglas Denton grew up on one of the wealthiest estates in Memphis, Tennessee. Life filled with parties, expensive clothing, and proper English never suited him. He longs for simplicity and a woman with a pure heart—not one who craves his money. Cora is that and more, but she belongs to someone else.

Cora finally gets her wish, only to be taken down a road of strife, uncertainty, and mysterious prophecies. When she’s finally discovered again by Douglas, she’s a widow, fearing for her life and that of her newborn child and blind companion.

Full of emotions, family secrets, and the search for true love, you’ll find it’s not just the cards that are marked. 

"Marked" by Jeanne Hardt

What Inspires You?

From the time we’re old enough to realize that we have opinions, likes and dislikes, and a voice of our own, we find that we are motivated and inspired by different things.

When I was little, my parents inspired me. I knew that if I behaved, my days would have a positive outcome. On the other hand, if I was a brat, (which I’m told I frequently was), I was often sent to my room. I believe I used to get spankings, but don’t remember them. Though I do recall a time that Dad simply threatened one, and I immediately shaped up. For the most part–brat though I may have been–my childhood was wonderful. I have many happy memories and still retain a number of my childhood friends.

My mother encouraged my creativity, and my father tried to keep me grounded. “Every artist needs a real job.” I don’t know how many times I heard that. I believe there can be a happy balance between the two. I worked hard to get where I am today and am grateful that I can pursue my dreams.

So what inspires me now? Memories. Every experience, every sound, smell, and  taste. Every broken heart and first kiss. Every gentle touch, and every slap of the hand. Pain and pleasure both. They are all a part of me and me alone. And with every character I write, a part of me comes through. There are things I’ve experienced that I wish I never had but that make a story more intriguing. Had I not gone through them, I doubt I could have written them with such emotion.

Each day starts a new inspiration. Pay attention to it. See with fresh eyes every detail of the world surrounding you. Listen to the sounds you take for granted. Hear their depth. Feel with not only your fingers, but also with your heart. And savor every taste and smell–even the bad ones.  I thank God for this beautiful world we live in and for all my life’s experiences. I hope that my writing will pass it on to others.

WRITE ON!!

No...not a brat...

No…not a brat…