Historical Romance

Finns Point National Cemetery: A Young Widow’s Promise


I’ve heard it said around the interwebs authors aren’t supposed to talk about their books…in the sense they aren’t supposed to explain themselves, or their books, and readers are supposed to get what they are trying to do through the reading experience.

I get that. I tend to agree with it. But sometimes authors have to explain certain things about the book so readers will get the full concept of what they are buying. Especially if the author is known for writing in one sub-genre and the author is crossing over into another.

I’m not talking about content and storyline. That should be up to the reader to judge. What I’m talking about are things like sub-genre and heat level. I try to get all this into the book description when I submit to a publisher. But it doesn’t always work out quite the way I wanted it to work and I try to add more information here on my blog so there are no misconceptions.

I have a new release coming out soon. It’s a novella that’s titled, A YOUNG WIDOW’S PROMISE, and it’s a historical romance. I don’t write historicals often. I don’t read them often. When I do, they are usually civil war historicals. And this time, A YOUNG WIDOW’S PROMISE, is not (I repeat, not) highly erotic. There are a few steamy love scenes. But they are extremely tame and the story revolves more around love and the main character’s emotions than her sex drive. And though I will try hard to get this into the book description, I might be explaining it here for a while. The book just went to edits and we’ll be going through many rounds before it’s ready to be published. And I’ve already edited it about 100 times myself, checking for historical accuracy and believability. Yes, it’s fiction, but it has to be believable, too. And I think this story could have happened.

I could have used a pen name with this novella. The main characters in A YOUNG WIDOW’S PROMISE are straight. And I’m known for writing highly erotic m/m books. But there is a m/m sub-plot, with an interesting twist because the book is set during the civil war. And the main reason I didn’t use a pen name is because I just don’t like doing it. I realize I may be shooting myself in the foot. But I’m willing to take that chance in order to keep it real. I always write because I love the story I’m writing, not because I’m thinking about how much money the book will make or many books I’ll sell. (I think I just heard a publisher scream.)

A YOUNG WIDOW’S PROMISE is a story that’s set in a quirky place called Locust Point, NJ. This is fictional. But it’s not far from real places that have been noted in history with regards to the civil war, like Finns Point, NJ, and Fort Delaware. I know these places well, Ft. Delaware and Finns Point and Fort Mott, because I grew up not far from them in Salem County, NJ. And this story has been in the back of my mind for a long time…since I started jogging at Finns Point almost 20 years ago…and I finally decided to get it out there.

I will post more, in detail, especially about Fort Delaware and Finns Point. The most interesting thing about Finns Point is that there’s a small cemetery there where they buried confederate prisoners of war in unmarked graves. They came from Fort Delaware. I’ve seen these graves many times in person. And the history behind them fascinates me, and always makes me a little sad. And, frankly, I’m also explaining all this in such detail because I want the historical police to know this isn’t just a whim and I didn’t make it all up. Especially those who shall remain nameless, and don’t even live in the US or know a thing about real US history.

If you live in the surrounding area and haven’t been to Fort Delaware, Finn’s Point, or Fort Mott, it’s an interesting day trip. And only about 100 miles from New York. All of quiet Salem County is rich with history and there are plenty of things to see.

Finns Point…Historical Romance

There’s a place in southern New Jersey that most people wouldn’t recognize as New Jersey. I have family there; a few famous people have come from that area, like Bruce Willis and John Forsythe. It’s not the New Jersey most people would imagine, with smoke stakes, traffic jams, and densely populated urban areas. This part of New Jersey, Salem County, is rich with American history. It hasn’t changed much since the l950’s, and it resembles a southern area more than a northern area.

The terrain is flat; the summer climate, because it’s below sea level in some parts, resembles New Orleans. And the reason I’m posting about it is because I’m finishing up a new historical romance set there during the civil war. When I lived in Salem County, there was a park where I used jog called Fortt Mott. Not far from Fort Mott is a place called Finns Point. The most significant historical fact about Finns Point is that there’s a cemetery where unknown confederate soliders were buried. And though I literally walked and jogged this park for years, I wanted to know more about the historical facts.

So here are a few of the basics. I’ll post more as I approach the release date. I’m shooting for Setepmber right now. This book has gone through hundreds of edits and revises since it began. I don’t normally write historical romance, especially pg rated historical romance, and I wanted everything to be as close to perfect as possible. I’m also well aware of the fact that the historical police will be watching, and I want to give them something to research they’ve most likely never heard about before.

Originally purchased by the federal government to build a battery to protect the port of Philadelphia, the land became a cemetery by 1863 for Confederate prisoners of war who died while in captivity at Fort Delaware. One hundred and thirty five Union soldiers who died while serving as guards at the prison camp are also buried here. The death toll among prisoners of war and the guards was high, especially in the latter part of 1863 and throughout 1864. By July 1863, there were 12,595 prisoners on the island at nearby Fort Delaware which was only about 75 acres (30 ha) in size. Disease was rampant and nearly 2,700 prisoners died from malnutrition or neglect. Confederate prisoner interred at the cemetery totaled 2,436 and all are in general unmarked graves.

Officially made a National Cemetery on October 3, 1875 by request of Virginia Governor James L. Kemper, who criticized the poor maintenance of the Confederate grave site.

Finn’s Point National Cemetery is south of Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge near Fort Mott State Park, in Pennsville. The cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Andrew Cunanan committed one of his murders at the cemetery on May 9, 1997, killing cemetery caretaker William Reese and stealing his truck.