Please welcome guest blogger, M.L. Tyndall, author of historical Inspirational romance novels that are thrilling and usually set on the high seas. Find out about MaryLu's latest release, The Red Siren, and win a copy by leaving a comment telling us why you like Charleston, SC, and if you've never been there, why you'd like to go and what you would do and see. Your name will go into a drawing for The Red Siren.
Why I Fell in Love with Charleston!
By M.L. Tyndall
Before I even set foot in South Carolina, there was something about Charleston that drew my affections. A mystique, an allure of romance and adventure that caught my heart long before I tread upon the city’s cobblestone streets. So when my publisher agreed to publish my proposed trilogy called Charles Towne Belles, I just had to visit the city for myself (Research purposes, of course) and see if it was everything I hoped it would be. I wasn’t disappointed.
From the rush of the mighty Cooper River pouring into Charleston Bay, to the unique narrow houses with their open air piazzas stretching the length of the building, to the clip-clop of the horse-drawn carriages over the cobblestone streets, to the magnificent St. Michael’s church built in 1761, and the colorful gardens blossoming with Bougainvilleas, I was enthralled.
But the most fascinating thing I discovered about Charleston was that it was once a walled city, complete with moats and drawbridges. How cool is that? Combining the romance of the medieval castle with the untamed colonies. The colonist built the wall to protect their new homes from Indians, the Spanish, and of course Pirates, but in 1719 they soon outgrew the boundaries and the wall was slowly dismantled. If you want to see a small part of the wall that still remains, visit the Watch Tower museum and take a tour of the dungeon.
But being a pirate lover, the best part of the history for me was learning about the Charleston pirates. Did you know Blackbeard and his crew once blockaded the entire city? He captured several leading citizens and held them hostage on board his ship, not allowing supplies to enter or leave Charles Towne port. Finally after a few weeks of negotiation, Blackbeard released the hostages for only a few medical supplies and left. Lucky for Charleston since he was one of the most brutal of all pirates.
Another of my favorite pirates is a lady pirate named Anne Bonny. She and another woman pirate, Mary Reed, terrorized the Caribbean in the early 1700’s, but apparently Anne had her beginning in Charleston where she was often seen in taverns right alongside the men.
But, my favorite Charleston pirate has to be the pirate they called “The Gentleman Pirate”, Stede Bonnet. A wealthy and educated landowner on the island of Barbados, he abandoned his family and all his belongings to become a “gentleman of fortune”. They say he was not the best pirate, but he also wasn’t a cruel pirate either. He loved books and brought a whole library on board his ship. In September, 1718, Bonnet was captured and brought to Charleston where, being considered a gentleman, he was given residence in the Marshal’s house instead of the dungeon while he awaited trail. Apparently, he was quite good with the ladies and somehow managed to get a hold of some women’s clothes which he quickly donned and then made his escape. Bonnet was recaptured shortly thereafter and, though found guilty, received several stays of execution as the result of pleas from city merchants. Bonnet's friends were influential, but not enough to save him. The "gentleman pirate" was hanged at White Point in Charleston on December 18, 1718.
My latest release, The Red Siren, takes place in Charleston in early summer 1718 and is a story about a lady pirate. Although the story is fictitious, from Charleston’s history, it would not be difficult to imagine such a thing happening. I hope I’ve piqued your interest and you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy the adventure!
MaryLu, thank you for hosting my blog today. I can't wait to read The Red Siren. I'm currently, reading MaryLu's The Falcon and the Sparrow, a historical Regency that is wonderful! She is a talented writer. If you love historical Christian fiction novels, a great romance, and exciting adventure, then you don't want to miss out on her books!
Here's a link to order the book from Amazon: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=601567&netp_id=558604&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=covers
Visit MaryLu Tyndall at: http://www.mltyndall.com/ or her blog at http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
10:36 PM Jennifer Hudson Taylor 10 comments