Bio:Rebecca DeMarnio, Author of Southold Chronicles series, Historical Fiction
Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother, a love of horses, reading and writing from her dad, and the wanderlust gene from both parents. Her travels have taken her from Alaska to Nebraska and Florida, from Long Island to England and Italy, and from Washington DC to Texas, California and Guam. But usually you can find her at home, enjoying her grandchildren and baking crisp little ginger cakes. From Publisher’s Weekly ~ DeMarino’s … strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers.
Growing up, I always knew Christmas would soon be here when the ginger cookies baked by Grandmother Horton arrived by mail, carefully wrapped in a green Frederick and Nelson’s shirt box! She baked them for us each year and when she could not, my mother continued the tradition. I have tried to do the same, baking them each December for my three daughters and grandchildren. My 9th great-grandfather, Barnabas Horton was a baker from Mowsley, England, and I like to think the cookie genes came from him! The following recipe is Grandmother’s original. I use canola oil instead of the Mazola. These are delicious with a glass of icy cold milk, but I enjoy them with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, too!
Grandmother Horton’s Ginger Cookies
Combine 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup Mazola oil, 1 egg, 4 T. molasses, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 level tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. ginger.
Mix well, roll into small balls. Dip in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to rack and cool.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Heather Flower ~ Legend, Lore or Literal?
As a historical fiction author, I love when my research turns up a gold nugget of information like Heather Flower – was she legend, lore or did she literally exist? She may be all three. Without a doubt her existence is controversial.
I first discovered the story of Heather Flower while researching A Place in His Heart, my debut novel about my English ancestors, the Hortons. My first book covers a time period between 1630 – 1640, so when I read an account that Englishman Lion Gardiner paid a ransom for the daughter of Montauk’s Grand Sachem Wyandanch I was intrigued, and looked at all different angles to include the story, but the time frame did not fit.
I did have my heroine, however, for book two of The Southold Chronicles! Further research revealed there are three or four theories regarding Heather Flower. I chose to blend those theories in my work of fiction.
Four theories that surround Heather Flower:
- She was Quashawam, the daughter of Grand Sachem Wyandanch and Heather Flower was her nickname. Historically, records exist showing Quashawam became Grand Sachem of the Montauk when her parents and brother died.
- She was Cantoneras, a Long Island native from Eaton’s Neck who married the Dutchman Cornelius Van Texel or Tassle, whose granddaughter, Katrina, is of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow fame.
- Wyandanch had two daughters, Quashawam and Heather Flower.
- Heather Flower is a fabrication, as well as the story of the kidnapping of Wyandanch’s daughter. Although Lion Gardiner’s personal papers include an account of paying a ransom to the Narragansetts for the release of Wyandanch’s daughter, the lack of a Montaukett written history clouds the matter. Some have alleged Gardiner may have written the story only to support the colonial’s political motives.
As I read of the controversies and theories, I read too, about the beautiful and proud Montaukett people. Their legacy is one of loss and perseverance. Though many died from diseases not known to them before the white man came, there were others who survived, like my fictional character Abbey, and I believe live on through their descendants today.
To me, Heather Flower is truly a legend and a fascinating heroine! Leg·end: lejənd/ noun 1. a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.
What do you think? Legend? Lore? Real?
Rebecca DeMarino writes love, legends and lore as a historical romance author and lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. From Publisher’s Weekly ~ DeMarino’s … strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers.
In an uncertain time, Heather Flower faces a choice that will change her life forever
It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.
Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice—stay true to her friend or follow her heart.
He settled himself atop his own bedding, tucking his musket close to his side. The ground was hard and the night alive with cricket chirps. Somewhere an owl hooted. He propped his hands beneath his head and stared at the heavens. The night was warm and the ink sky a dance of thousands of winking stars. An astral display fell as if the sky had parted. Some Indians believed it to be a sign of travel heroes and he glanced over to the still form of Heather Flower and hoped she’d seen it. He asked God for travel mercies as sleep claimed him.
Heather Flower was awake before the sun rose. The crescent moon had set hours ago, but the crisp stars still illuminated the sky. She crept toward the glow of the fire and sat. She clutched the comb Dirk had given her the day before and began to pull it through the tangles in her hair. Strand by strand the snarls came undone. As the men began to stir around her, she finished a long braid over her shoulder. Cook came out to refresh the