Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Blurb Blitz: The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor by Charlene Bell Dietz

 

The Spinster, the Rebel & the Governor

by Charlene Bell Dietz


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Historical Fiction


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Move over Susan B. Anthony. There’s an unsung woman asking for the vote 224 years before you, and murderous rebels and bigoted gentlemen can’t prevent spinster Lady Margaret Brent from wielding her power to defend Maryland settlers from plunder and obliteration.


Lady Margaret Brent, compelled to right wrongs, risks her life by illegally educating English women, placing her family at risk. She fights to have a voice, yet her father and brothers exclude her from discussions. Worried the kings’ men may know of her illegal activities, she flees to the New World where she can enjoy religious tolerance and own land, believing she will be allowed a voice. Once in Maryland, she presents cases in provincial court where she’s hired as the first American woman attorney, but there she uncovers perilous actions, prompting her to build a fort to shield those within from being murdered. Can Margaret Brent’s integrity and ingenuity protect Maryland from being destroyed?


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EXCERPT


The Wells girl covered her eyes with both hands. Margaret, ignoring the buzzing of flies and the damp heat of the morning sun, worked to untangle the girl’s words in her mind.


“If the river doesn’t take me, then I shall have my baby alone and will have to live with Master Cole, and I shall never see my dear Tom again.” With that, she burst into tears.


“You do not look like you are about to have a baby. Why do you say your time is up?”


“Master Cole brought me here four years ago. He said after I had worked for him for four years, I wouldn’t owe him a tad more, and now he says I can’t leave, and so I might as well marry him. Lady Brent. I worked hard from early morning until after dark every day, and my time is up. Even the devil would say this isn’t right.” She sniffed and looked away.


Margaret set her jaw. “Heaven help us if other masters here in Maryland treat their servants in this manner.”


“There’s nothing I can do.” She bit her lip. “I thought maybe the next time you talked with Governor Calvert you might say something on my behalf, and I pray my request is not one of cheekiness.”


“Mary.” Margaret called sharply across to the soap making group. “Would you please come here?”


When Mary finished saying something, she trotted over to the garden. “Hello, Carrie. Are you not feeling well—your face seems flushed?”


“So, you are acquainted with Carrie Wells?” Margaret studied her sister, slipped the basket from Carrie, and moved it into Mary’s hands. “She brought these for us and herbs to scent your soap.”


“Sometimes on Sundays after church Carrie walks with me in the woods and shows me barks, roots, and herbs that heal.” She glanced at the basket. “Why, these are lovely.” She glanced at the young woman, then put her hand on Carrie’s arm. “Are you still having trouble with Jacob Cole?”


“Jacob Cole is about to have troubles with her. Has Giles returned from Kent for Assembly today? Will both our brothers be at the meeting?” Margaret’s frogs roiled inside her. 


How dare these men take advantage of their servants? 


“I saw him and Fulke along with some other men heading to Lewger’s home earlier.”


“Come, Carrie Wells. We shall also attend Assembly.”


“But—Margaret,” Mary grabbed her arm. “Certainly, women would not be allowed—”


Margaret shrugged Mary away, snatched Carrie Wells by her hand, and stomped off down the path.


“Sister,” Mary called after her, “you must take off that filthy apron. You’re covered in soil.”


Margaret jerked it untied and slung it. “There is a difference between God’s soil and men’s dirt. Carrie Wells and I are about to sort this very thing out with all those fine gentlemen of Assembly.”


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Charlene Bell Dietz lives in the central mountains of New Mexico. She taught kindergarten through high school, served as a school administrator, and an adjunct instructor for the College of Santa Fe. After retirement she traveled the United States providing instruction for school staff and administrators. Her writing includes published articles, children’s stories, short stories, and mystery and historical novels


Email: chardietzpen@gmail.com  

Website: https://inkydancestudios.com/

 Char Bell Dietz @CharBellDietz  

Purchase: http://apbooks.net/srg.html


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GIVEAWAY


The author will award a randomly chosen winner a $25 Amazon/BN gift card.


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