Review: The Chamomile by Susan F. Craft

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: February, 26 2011
Pages: 252
Publisher: Ingalls Publishing Group, Inc
Author: Susan F. Craft
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance
ISBN-10: 1932158944
ISBN-13: 978-1932158946
Book Source: Book was provided by the author for my honest opinion.

Blurb:

Lilyan joins Patriot spies in British-occupied Charlestown, SC, to rescue her brother from a notorious prison ship. She’ll lie, steal, kill or be killed she promises Nicholas Xanthakos, a scout with Francis Marion’s partisans, who leads the mission. In Nicholas’ arms she discovers enduring love…a home. But that home is a long time coming. Her journey requires she save the life of one British officer but kill another to protect her Cherokee friend Elizabeth. In escaping bounty hunters, she treks miles of wilderness and very nearly loses everything before finally reuniting with her true love.

You can purchase it Here:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

A history lover, Susan F. Craft researches for her novels with the same excitement as Alan Quartermain hunting for King Solomon’s Mines and with the persistence of Lewis and Clark. She enjoys the chase when a clue leads her from one “treasure” to the next, to the next.

A South Carolinian, Susan has a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her 40-year career includes working for SC Educational Television, the SC Department of Mental Health, the SC College of Pharmacy, and currently for the SC Senate. The Chamomile, published by Ingalls Publishing Group, was released in November 2011 and is the fourth book she has authored. The first two were S.C. State Library award-winning professional works in the field of mental health, and the third, self-published in 2006, is A Perfect Tempest, a historical fiction set in Columbia during the Civil War.

Susan is a member of Romance Writers of America, the American Christian Fiction Writers, The Historical Novel Society, the S.C. Writers Workshop, the SC Historical Society, the Robert Burns Society, the Colonial American Christian Writers, and the Inkplots, a writers’ critique group. Her short stories have been published in four of the group’s collections.

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance selected The Chamomile as a Fall 2011 Okra Pick, recognizing it as a top novel of the season.

Susan is represented by the Harline Literary Agency.

You can find Susan Here:
Website

Favorite Scene:

“Late one evening the first week in May as they strolled the outskirts of the camp, Nicholas stopped at pointed to the sky. “See the three stars, there, in a row?”

Lilyan followed his direction. “Yes.”

“That’s the belt of Orion, the hunter. If you look closely, you can see his upraised club.” He drew an outline with his finger.

Lilyan squinted. “Not really.”

Nicholas chuckled. “It’s difficult to see.” He paused. “Lilyanista?”

“Yes?”

“You do know that I love you, yes?” He faced her, taking her hand in his.

“I believe I do.” Her heart raced as his thumb traced circles in the palm of her hand.

“But do you realize how much?”

She leaned back, looking up at his face barely visible beneath the brim of his hat. “If it is only half as much as I love you, then your body cannot contain it.”

He sucked in a breath. “The days we spent together traveling here from the DeKruifs, I watched you. The way your body comes slowly away long before you open your lovely green eyes. I wake in the mornings remembering the way you stretch your arms to the side and arch your back. Do you realize how graceful your hands are when you braid your hair? Hair that looks like spun copper by firelight.” He twirled a tendril of her hair around his finger. “I lay down at night wondering what it would look like spread across my pillow.”

Tension polled in the pit of Lilyan’s stomach as the effect of his words swirled around in her body like warm honey.

He dropped his hands to his sides. “But what a terribly uncertain time it is to be in love. Yes?”

Lilyan pressed her other hand to his chest. “If I have learned anything over the past few months, it is this. Nothing in this life is certain. God has given us the gift of this day, not the promise of another. And I believe He expects us to live each hour, each moment, acknowledging and enjoying that gift.”

He curled his hands around hers. “If that is so, I will wait no longer. Lilyan Cameron, will you do me the great honor of becoming my wife?””

Main Characters:

Lilyan Cameron: Lilyan is an artist who owns her own store where she creates all kinds of artwork including painting murals for the more prominent citizens. Strong-willed and determined, but very protective of those she loves. Lilyan loves with a fierceness seldom seen by many. She sees through an artist’s eyes and has great passion for the beauty around her. She is slightly reserved but also knows how to throw caution to the wind.

Captain Nicholas Xanthakos : Nicholas is a Captain with Frances Marion’s partisans fighting for lives and freedom. A sweet and gentle man with the prowess of a cougar when those he cares about are threatened. He is dependable and sturdy, solid as a rock in the hard times and gentle as a lamb with the woman he loves.

Andrew Cameron: Andrew is Lilyan’s brother. Fighting for the cause, freedom for the colonies. Andrew displays a courage seldom seen and a profound love for his family.

Elizabeth Archer: Elizabeth was born among the Cherokee but when her parents died, Lilyan’s father brought Elizabeth to live with them. Elizabeth, Lilyan and Andrew were siblings by every right except birth. Elizabeth had a gentle spirit and a loving nature but she could weild a knife like an expert. She was a very welcome and calming presense in this book.

Angus McCallum: I just loved Angus. I loved his Irish brogue. I loved the few times he made me laugh. I just loved him period. Angus was a friend of Lilyan’s dad who swore to protect Lilyan and Andrew until his last breath. I must say, he did a fine job doing just that too.

My Thoughts:

Lilyan Cameron is an artist who owns her own shop in Charleston, SC. Overrun by British soldiers, the colony is ruled with an iron fist but when the citizens get tired of buckling under British rule, a battle ensues. When Andrew is arrested for stealing the powder magazing in the basement of the exchange building, he is imprisoned asnd sent to live on a ship in horrible conditions. Lilyan vows to free her brother no matter the cost, even going as far as to promise Nicholas Xanthakos (A Captain for Frances Marion’s partisans) she would lie, steal or kill if need be. Little did she know Nicholas would turn out to be the theif when he steals her heart. When murder is commited, Lilyan finds she has lived up to her promise and it sets in motion a string of unimaginable events.

Nicholas admires Lilyan’s courage and soon finds himself in love with the woman with the fiery hair and gentle spirit. After they flee the “murder scene” he leaves them encamped with several other women whose loved ones are fighting in the war. When she is discovered by “bounty hunters” she must flee again to live with the Cherokee, the family of her beloved Elizabeth. Lilyan is devestated by Elizabeth’s death. She feels God has forsaken her and carries the guilt of her friend’s murder on her shoulders. But God hasn’t forsaken her. He sent help when Andrew was deathy ill and he saved her from certain death when she was kidnapped. With the help of her brother she finds her way back to the God who loves her. And, with God’s help, Lilyan and Nicholas find their way back to each other.

The Chamomile was a very poignant story of love and loss. The devastation they suffered was balanced by the love that surrounded them daily. The Revolutionary War came to life in the pages contained in this book. It made me want to learn more about the history of the war and that is a feat in itself since I’m not much of a history buff. It also touched every emotion and left me feeling emotionaly drained. I was literally crying by the turn of the second page. Susan F. Craft is a masterful storyteller weaving together a story that will stay with me for years to come. If you haven’t read it (And I’m assuming if you’re reading this you haven’t) then you definitely should.

Revolutionary War Info:

In 1763, few would have predicted that by 1776 a revolution would be unfolding in British America.

The ingredients of discontent seemed lacking — at least on the surface. The colonies were not in a state of economic crisis; on the contrary, they were relatively prosperous. Unlike the Irish, no groups of American citizens were clamoring for freedom from England based on national identity. King George III was not particularly despotic — surely not to the degree his predecessors of the previous century had been…

Continue reading Here.

The Militia Info:

Even before the struggle for American independence ended, two contrasting views of the role of the Revolutionary militia had emerged. Popular opinion, remembering the gallant stand of the Minutemen at Concord and Lexington, held fast to the ideal of the brave citizen soldier as the mainstay of defense. Other Americans however, including many Continental Army veterans, derided the militia’s reputation for fleeing in the face of the enemy. The early histories of the Revolution also tended to minimize the contributions of the militia, and one acclaimed account of the war, written as late as 1929, even referred to “the utter failure of the militia system.”…

Continue Reading Here.


This review was published on:
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5 thoughts on “Review: The Chamomile by Susan F. Craft

  1. Wanda. Oh, my. What an incredible review. I'm crying with joy that The Chamomile made such an impression. Callum is one of my favorite characters too. Isn't he a dear! I hope you will be happy to know that I have written a trilogy for Lilyan and Nicholas. The second book, “Laurel,” about their first child, is being represented by Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency. I'm about 3/4 finished with the third, which I'm calling “Cassia.” It takes place in the NC Outer Banks where Lilyan and Nicholas and their three children meet up with pirates. Again, thank you for your review.

  2. What a beautiful and well written review about a wonderful novel. Susan is as sweet a person as she is a talented writer. Wanda, thank you so much for introducing new readers to Susan's delightful work. Thank you also for this excellent blog. I look forward to stopping in again!

  3. I truly look forward to the next book Susan. The Chamomile was a delight and reading more of Lilyan and Nicholas' story will be a thrill. Your book really touched me and you have a true talent. I wish you all the best!

  4. Thank you Paula! Makes me feel I am doing something good just hearing your comment. Susan is awesome and a great writer and I'm glad to help her in any way I can. I thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you here often!

    Blessings,
    Wanda

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