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March 18, 2019


Historical Facts

In my books, I do my best to stay as close to historically accurate facts as possible. I believe mixing a touch of fantasy, with real people and events, gives the reader something to ponder and hopefully inspires a genuine curiosity for history. In A Timely Revolution, I used many tidbits that the reader may not recognize as real, so I have listed a few below. 

Real life people in Williamsburg in 1765:
*Catherine Blaikley- The town midwife for 30 years, having delivered over 3,000 children.
*William Holt-Shopkeeper, as well as serving in the offices of Mayor, Quartermaster of the Militia, Peace Commissioner and Justice among other things. Also, father of triplets as announced in the Virginia Gazette.
*John and James Carter-John was a merchant and shopkeep that shared a building with his brother James, a surgeon and apothecary that operated the Unicorn’s Horn.
*Peyton Randolph-Attorney (among many other things) that occupied one of the currently most haunted places in Colonial Williamsburg.

*The Raleigh Tavern was a place well-known for its food, entertainment, and rum punch. Many sales and other forms of business were conducted on its steps.

*Dinner was actual the mid-day meal, served over several courses and taking a great amount of time. Breakfast and supper mainly consisted of leftovers, although supper parties that lasted well into the night did occur on special occasions.

Philadelphia and surrounding areas:
*Major Benjamin Tallmadge, the leader of the Culper Spy Ring was a Yale graduate and served as the superintendent of Wethersfield High School before joining the war. In his memoirs, he spoke of a lady that brought information back and forth from Philadelphia, using the excuse of gathering eggs to travel between lines. He also wrote of an incident where there were spotted at the Rising Sun Tavern exchanging information and how he pulled her onto the back of his horse and she courageously rode as they were being fired upon to a nearby town, where she slipped off into the crowd and disappeared before he returned to camp. He was appointed the head of Washington’s spy ring while in Winter Quarters at Valley Forge(winter 1777-1778).

*John André was a captain(not appointed AG-Major until 1779) while stationed in Philadelphia where he was sent after being held a prisoner of war for a time. It was there he met Peggy Shippen, the future wife of Benedict Arnold. He was a well-known ladies man and very well liked by everyone he met. At that time, he served under General Howe and was the one that planned his going away party that lasted several days, the Mischianza, before Howe returned to England and General Clinton took his place. In spring of 1779, he was appointed the chief of intelligence by Clinton.

 
 
 

January 21, 2019

I spent this past weekend at a sci-fi convention called MarsCon. If you have never attended one of these, I highly encourage you to find a local event and check it out. At the ones that have been established, like MarsCon and RavenCon, you will find some of the warmest welcomes you will ever experience and leave feeling as if you are being separated from your own family, counting the days until the next one. These conventions welcome everyone, where people of all races, religions, political affiliations, and sexual orientations find a way to leave the woes of the world at the door, and just have a good time. It was at one of these, I had the pleasure of meeting the ones who encouraged me when I first began writing and I am still amazed at the enormous amount of encouragement that I receive from my fellow writers. I am indebted to each and every one of them more than you will ever know.
More, Book two of "A Timely Revolution" will be officially launched at RavenCon, April 6, 2019, a literary convention held in Williamsburg, Va. 
In celebration of a successful weekend, I am posting an excerpt from Chapter 10 in "A Timely Revolution." I hope you enjoy it.


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Chapter Ten -Excerpt
"A Timely Revolution" by Tempie W. Wade
© by Tempie W. Wade
All Rights Reserved

A few weeks later, Maggie was beyond miserable sitting on a settee in the middle of the Governor’s Palace, dressed in a beautiful green gown that Cecile had made for her, completely surrounded by a group of ladies who clucked like a bunch of hens about the latest town gossip. 

This person was seen with that person. 

So-and-so was cheating on his wife. 

A servant was stealing. 

“Did you see that dress...” 

It was like an endless soap opera. Who knew that Colonial Virginia was such a hotbed of impropriety? These ladies seemed to have turned discussing the latest town scandals into a past time. 

Maggie guessed that’s what people did to entertain themselves before the television was invented. Downing her fourth glass of ‘punch’, Maggie tried to figure out how she ever let Hettie talk her into coming. 

“It’s time you started acting like the wealthy lady that you are, and wealthy ladies go to balls at the Governor’s Palace.” Hettie had reprimanded. 

Stuck in the middle of these ladies wasn’t even the worst of it. Maggie had come to join them in an effort to escape the endless introductions and invitations to dance from every single male in the town of Williamsburg and the surrounding areas. 

Word had gotten out that she was a wealthy widow, and since women were in short supply, Maggie was the latest, greatest addition in town. She had feigned overheating to escape the dance invitations out of necessity since she had no clue how to dance in the 18th century. She was mainly ignoring the ladies’ scuttlebutt, nodding and smiling occasionally to appear interested, when she noticed the chit-chat had gone quiet. Looking up, she noticed all the ladies straightening their backs and putting on their best smiles as a gentleman happened by. 

“Good evening ladies, you all look very lovely tonight.” 

Maggie detected the slight smell of sandalwood as she glimpsed a man in an immaculate British uniform wearing boots that had been polished to a shine. 

The ladies all giggled and waved. Once he was out of earshot, they all started back up with a new topic of conversation. 

‘Such a handsome man,’ ‘so well mannered,’ ‘impeccable manners,’ ‘can’t believe he is not married,’ were all used to describe him. It appeared, he was the only thing they could talk about now. 

A much older lady fanned herself while watching him walk away. “If I weren’t married and a few years younger…” 

Maggie stole a better look at him when he stopped to speak to a group of men. He was handsome. No! He was beautiful. 

Standing about 6 feet tall, he had light colored blond hair, tied back in a neat, straight ponytail, no powder or wig as the other men wore. He was a bit older than most of the men in town, appearing to be in his mid-30s, with a finely chiseled nose and chin, the kind that came with age. His skin was flawless, his face cleanshaven, his smile revealing straight, white teeth. 

No wonder the ladies were beside themselves staring, it couldn’t be helped. When she heard him speak, Maggie heard the sexiest British accent she had ever heard in her life. 

“Who is that?” Maggie asked. 

The ladies all stared at her in disbelief. 

Charlotte White spoke up. “Oh, my goodness, you don’t know? Well, of course, you wouldn’t; you haven’t been here very long, and he has just returned from up north. That, my dear, is Colonel Gabriel Asheton, the most eligible and sought-after bachelor in the colonies.
Why, every unmarried woman around has been trying to land him for years. I should introduce you.” 

Maggie shook her head, holding up her hand, “Oh no, please don’t trouble yourself. I’m not looking for a husband.” 

The ladies all stared at her as if she had two heads, finding it hard to believe that she wouldn’t want

a husband. 

Maggie had royally messed up. She should have never said aloud in colonial Virginia that she didn’t

want a husband. Opening her mouth to do damage control, she heard a voice clearing to her side. 

It was Major Horace. 

“Excuse me ladies, Mistress Bishop, you look as if you could use another glass of punch. May I escort you to the refreshment table?” 

Maggie silently thanked God. “Oh, Major, yes please; that would be lovely.” 

He held out his arm and she stood, taking it, letting him lead her away. 

He leaned over, whispering, “You looked as if you needed saving from the ‘Ladies Gossip Brigade.'” 

“Oh, you have no idea. I find myself in your debt again,” she said, accepting her filled glass, waiting while he also filled his own. “It would seem the ladies are all abuzz about a recently arrived Colonel Asheton.” 

Major Horace choked a little on the punch he was sipping. He sputtered a little before swallowing it down. 

“Oh, excuse me...yes...well...I suppose they would be.” That seemed a little awkward. 

“The Colonel just arrived back in town two weeks ago. He has been in Canada on military business.” 

“Oh, so you know him?” 

Major Horace shifted on his feet. “Well, yes I do. We were... acquainted in England before I joined the army. We have since renewed ...our friendship.” The Major seemed to be choosing his words—a little too carefully—as he shot glances in the Colonel's direction. “He is a fine man, comes from a good family, well-educated, an outstanding soldier, and the finest swordsman I have ever had the pleasure to watch.”Swordsman, huh? 

The Major downed his glass in one shot, looked at Maggie, smiled and with the help of the little shot of liquid courage, offered, “Allow me the pleasure of introducing you.” 

A few moments later, “Colonel Asheton, if I may? Permit me to introduce you to Williamsburg’s newest resident, Mistress Maggie Bishop.” 

The Colonel looked at Major Horace, then at Maggie, flashing a million-dollar smile, taking her hand to plant a firm kiss on the back. “Always a pleasure to make the acquaintance of one of the fair ladies of Williamsburg, especially one as beautiful as you.” 

Wow! No wonder the women were swooning all around him. 

Maggie smiled back. “The pleasure is all mine, 

Colonel.” 

He was asking her about her life in Williamsburg, when another soldier approached Major Horace, whispering to him. 

“Ah, excuse me, Colonel, Mistress Bishop.” Major Horace bowed and followed the younger soldier. 

Maggie stood alone with Colonel Asheton, chatting about her newly acquired estate. 

He was a very charming man, but also a very personable and friendly one. The energy Maggie sensed from the Colonel was one that she really liked. He was very easy to talk to and they seemed to really hit it off. 

Mid-conversation, Maggie noticed a small hand come up over the Colonel’s shoulder and make its way down the front of his chest from the side. 

The Colonel turned, revealing that the hand belonged to a lady. 

A lady by the name of Prudence Hunt. 

Maggie knew this because the ‘gossip brigade’ had identified her as the one in ‘that dress’. 

That dress was a blood red silk, cut so low it revealed her more than ample bosom sitting so far up from the cinched corset that she could have balanced a plate on it. Her long blond hair was piled high on her head, several ringlets hanging down to brush her exposed shoulders. Her face was powdered, along with her chest. A lovely pearl choker encircled her elegant neck, and a tiny beauty mark dotted her chin. 

According to the gossip circle, she was the widow of one Mr. Richard Hunt, her second husband, a wealthy merchant she had married when he was the ripe old age of 79. She couldn’t have been more than 25. 

Her husband had only lived six months, though Maggie imagined it was probably a happy six months if he got to stare at those breasts for any length of that time. Unleashing those puppies, just one time, was probably enough to give the poor man a heart attack. 

Prudence Hunt reached up with one hand, stroking the Colonel’s face. “Gabriel,” she purred, sticking out her lips in a pout, “I’m thirsty and there is no one to escort me to the refreshment table. Do you suppose you could help a poor lady in distress?” 

“Of course, Mrs. Hunt.” He turned to Maggie. 

“Please excuse me, Mistress Bishop.” 

Maggie nodded and watched them head towards the drink table. Shaking her head—and grabbing another glass of something from a passing tray—Maggie found a secluded spot by an open window with a blessed cooling breeze blowing through. Backing up against the wall, she took a minute to observe the room. 

Everyone was laughing, talking, dancing, and having a wonderful time. 

This was the calm before the storm. Although the signs of a revolution were there, they had not yet exploded in the way that they would in the years to come. A great many people in this room would not even live long enough to see the end of the war, making Maggie a little sad. 

The scene unfolded, with Colonel Asheton and Prudence Hunt catching her attention. Judging by the placement of her hand on his back, slipping ever so slowly down his backside, it was obvious that Mrs. Hunt had her eye on husband number three. They were laughing and chatting with another couple when the Colonel, very discreetly, reached around and moved her hand back up. Maybe, he wasn’t as into her as she was him; maybe he wasn’t interested in becoming her next conquest, even though they did look very cozy. 

Maggie was taking another sip from her glass when she saw it, an ever so slight stolen glance, across the room, directed at Major Horace. A glance that, in the five seconds it took, sent the silent message: “I can’t wait to be alone with you.” 

At first, Maggie thought she had imagined it. Surely, she had too much to drink, and it was a trick of the 
eye,
until she turned her gaze to Major Horace who was, in turn, inconspicuously sending back a very subtle, discreet acknowledgment. 

Maggie lowered her glass in sheer astonishment. 

Could it be that those two were having an affair? She saw the momentary affirmation directed back towards the Major. The two were, without a doubt, surreptitious lovers. 

The most astounding part was that the guarded conveyance wasn’t coming from Prudence Hunt...it was coming from Colonel Asheton. 

Maggie stood dumbfounded until the puzzle pieces fell into place. Colonel Asheton was unmarried at his age, brutally handsome, a perfect gentleman with impeccable taste and manners, very well groomed and the object of all the ladies’ affections. 

Of course… he was gay. 

In 2018, Maggie, being a single woman in the dating world, she would have picked up on it immediately, since most people didn’t have to hide it, but in 1765, the thought never even occurred to her. If the two were found out in this century, they would likely end up dead. Maggie felt a certain amount of compassion and pity for the two of them. In 2018, they wouldn’t have to hide who they were, but here, in this time, they would never have the luxury of making that choice. They would never be free to be who they were. 

It was too crowded and hot inside with so many people pressed together. Maggie refilled her glass, found the side door, and headed out into the garden for some fresh air. When the cooler temperature hit Maggie in the face, she realized she was drunk. She stepped towards a bench in the garden, tripped over nothing she could see, stumbled, and was well on her way to falling on her ass, when a strong pair of hands caught her from behind, steadying her. Maggie giggled, giddy. 

“It’s alright Mistress, I have you. Let’s find you a seat, shall we?” 

An arm wound around her back and another took her by the waist, leading her to the bench. When Maggie looked up, she was staring directly into the smiling, handsome face of Colonel Gabriel Asheton. 

“Are you unwell, Mistress Bishop?” he asked with a great deal of concern. 

Maggie giggled again. “I am perfectly fine, 

Colonel Asheton.” She patted him on the chest, “It seems I may have had a wee too much to drink,” using her fingers to indicate a little pinch. 

“Yes, well, the host is known for adding a little... extra... to the punchbowl.” He smiled at her. “Why don’t I sit with you for a few minutes to make sure you are good?” 

Sweet Jesus, this man was even more handsome up close. 

“Won’t Mrs. Hunt be lost without you?” Her question seemed genuinely concerned, before a snort and another giggle, that couldn’t be held in, escaped. 

The Colonel laughed. “I think she can manage without me.” 

Maggie raised her finger, “I don’t know about that. I think she may be sizing you up to become husband number three. Third time’s a charm, you know.” 

The Colonel was taken aback, “Yes, well, she will have to continue the search elsewhere. She isn’t exactly my type.” 

“So, I noticed.” 

He eyed at her suspiciously, holding a breathe in. 

Oops, watch it, Maggie. 

“What I meant to say is that you aren’t really her

type. She seems to prefer her husbands over the age of 

70, and well, you are certainly not there yet.” 

He relaxed, letting out his breath. “No, I don’t suppose I am.” 

Whew! That was close. 

They continued to chat until Maggie noticed couples drifting into the garden, looking for a little privacy. Maggie and the Colonel looked at each other. 

“I should be getting home,” Maggie started to stand, the Colonel helping her. 

“Perhaps I should escort you there, Mistress 

Bishop,” 

“Maggie, please call me Maggie, and thank you, but I have my carriage and driver. He will see me home.” 

He nodded. “Maggie, and please call me Gabe. I am very glad to have met you this evening. I hope I will see you again soon.” 

Maggie offered him a genuine smile, “Me, too.” 

He escorted her back inside and bid her good night. 

Maggie located her hosts, thanking them for the evening, and after saying goodbye to a few others, boarded her carriage to head back to Beechcroft. She peered out of the window of the carriage, breathing in the cool night air. Lit lanterns on the sides illuminated the coach, making the front drive look as if it had modern day street lamps. When the carriage made a turn, she saw them: two people locked in an embrace in the darkness of a corner where they thought they wouldn’t be seen. 

There was no mistaking, it was Major Horace and Colonel Asheton. 

December 21, 2018

 
Major John André was the head of intelligence for the British army during the Revolutionary War. He was the contact that assisted General Benedict Arnold with his failed surrender of West Point to the British that ultimately led to Arnold becoming the most famous traitor in history and to André’s capture and execution by the Americans. But Major André was so much more than that. He was not your typical army officer, being more of a lover than a fighter. 
He reportedly joined the army after having his heart broken by the young Miss Honora Sneyd and even though he was on the opposite side, much of Colonial America embraced the charming young gentleman to their bosoms...literally. He was known for his love of telling stories, beautiful sketch work, and the poetry he wrote, often a favorite on the social scene in Philadelphia’s high society. He could sing, paint, and even excelled in the art of cutting silhouettes, a truly lost art form and the man knew how to throw a party. If you don’t believe me, just google General Howe’s farewell Mischianza, which he personally planned. What wasn’t there to love about the man? Major André even earned the respect of those on the Continental side, including General George Washington and Major Benjamin Tallmadge, both of them greatly aggrieved by having to carry out his punishment-death by hanging. General Washington was so fond of the man, in fact, that he actually had breakfast sent from his own table each morning while he was in his custody for the trial and execution. Women loved this man so much, that on the day of his death, they flocked to the morbid event just to get one last look at the beloved fellow and to weep over his grave...apparently, there was a long line of them.

 

 

 

December 17, 2018
 
Who was Major Benjamin Tallmadge, you may ask? Unless you are up on your American Revolutionary War history or a big fan of AMC’s Turn, you may not actually know.
Benjamin Tallmadge was born in 1754 in the small town of Setauket, New York. In 1773, he graduated from Yale, where he befriended a young man by the name of Nathan Hale, an American spy captured and later executed by the British. After graduation, Tallmadge eventually went on to become the headmaster of the high school in Wethersfield, Connecticut, before he enlisted in the Connecticut militia in 1776, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become a major for the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons Regiment. In that division, he was involved in several battles, including the ones at Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.
He eventually went on to organize the Culper Spy Ring, a network of intelligence, in and around New York, that involved several members of the local community with whom he had been childhood friends. The information gathered by this ring eventually helped to uncover the treasonous acts of General Benedict Arnold at West Point and to the capture of Major John André, the head of the British Secret Service. Major Tallmadge’s devotion to the people who served in that ring extended well beyond the war, some of their members not even being known about until the early
1930’s.
Tallmadge later went on to pen his memoirs, including several recounts of missions during the war. One of them described a woman, who brought him intelligence information by carrying eggs in a basket in and out of Philadelphia through the checkpoints. When they were cornered one evening at the Rising Sun Tavern, he wrote of HER bravery while he pulled her onto the back of his horse and rode for the nearest town, as British soldiers gave chase and fired their weapons. When he reached the town, she slipped down from his horse and disappeared into the crowd as he returned to camp.
His work for Washington proved invaluable in the winning of the war, and although his name may not be remembered as well it should be, his accomplishments helped to lay the groundwork in the formation of this great nation.

 

December 16, 2018

I'm not a writer...at least I wasn't until earlier this year. One morning, around the first of July, I woke up with half of the sight in my right eye gone. After countless trips to multiple specialists, I still, to this day, have no explanation for what happened. Losing partial sight isn't the end of the world, after all, according to the doctors, it could have been a whole lot worse, and believe me, it could have been. This is something I can live with as opposed to being something that could have had me departing this world a little too soon for my own liking...and I am good with that. The only real issue that bothered me was that it prevented me from doing some of the more creative things I liked to do. So, I had to find a different outlet. Around July 3rd, I sat down with my laptop and began to write. It seemed to flow fairly well and by August 1st, I had over 90,000 words and a completed book. I let a good friend read it, just to see to how bad it was to satisfy my own curiosity, but when she handed it back to me, something strange happened. She told me that I needed to do something with it...so I did. It is now the middle of December of the same year, and I am putting the final touches on book number five of this series. 
Life brings many changes, some of them good, some of them, not so much. How you deal with those changes are what makes all the difference in the world. Life never goes the way you expect it to, but the little twists and turns that it tosses out can sometimes turn into something very special if you choose to just roll with it....after all, what else are you going to do?
Peace and blessings to you all!
Tempie