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Into the Heartland by Jack Casey

Publication Date: March 8, 2021
Diamonds Big As Radishes, LLC
Paperback & eBook; 404 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

A forbidden love.
An impossible dream.
And a daring venture to open America…

The year is 1810. For decades men have dreamed of reaching west of the Hudson – of unlocking the untold riches in America’s heartland. Yet, these visionaries lacked the necessary skill, willpower, and political might.

Enter: DeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York City.

Ignoring naysayers and cynics, Clinton vows to construct an audacious waterway through the wilderness to Lake Erie. For this he needs support from the highest echelons of New York society. And there is only one woman with the talent and connections for the job.

Eleanora Van Rensselaer, an aristocratic widow, rules a vast Hudson Valley estate, but her wealth and power will vanish if a dark secret is revealed. Clinton enlists her charm and intelligence to battle his formidable opponent Martin Van Buren. When Eleanora encounters Daniel Hedges, a dashing ship captain with frontier ingenuity, she knows he is the key to this massive project. Eleanora’s social savvy and Hedges’ skills make them an ideal team – if they can fight the powerful feelings growing between them.

But as America plunges into the war of 1812, they could lose all that they have built.

From America’s stunning naval victory on Lake Erie to the British invasion of Washington, D.C., Daniel and Eleanora persevere through tragedy and deep personal loss. Despite Van Buren’s plot to sabotage Clinton and expose Eleanora’s secret, Daniel and Eleanora won’t stop until they make their colossal dream a reality.

And somewhere along the way, they might just find a love that will change them, and America, forever.

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EXCERPT

“Love?” Lady Eleanora turned and frowned at her maid. “Did you say you were in love?”

Again, Kate’s idle tongue had betrayed her. Her face flushed and her nimble fingers, braiding her ladyship’s hair, darted and wove more quickly. “Yes, mum,” Kate thrust her chin up heroically. “Leastways, I believe I’m in . . . in love.”

“And what, poor lamb, would you know of love?” Lady Eleanora’s eyes gleamed with mirth. The maid stepped behind the chair to avoid her gaze, but Eleanora turned fully around. “Well?”

Kate pulled the braid and her ladyship winced. “P’rhaps it weren’t that neither.”

“But you said you were in love! I heard you!”

Kate’s eyes welled with tears. She longed to be away, out in the cool evening river breeze. “Well, to me, mum, it is!” Her breath came short and quick. “And it mayn’t be so grand as you knew, neither, but it’s the best I can ever hope for!” Now she dared to look into her mistress’ eyes and saw her smile. When Lady Eleanora smiled it was like the sun beaming on a summer morn. Only now her dark eyes held a gleam of ridicule, so Kate concentrated mightily on her work.

“Who is he?”

Kate threw up her hands and the braid fell, slowly untwining. “You mock me, mum! It’s not as though we’ll be setting up a household and scrapin’ the ground for a few bushels of corn, and raisin’ brats and growin’ mean and sour to each other! But if he should pr’pose, and mind you I believe he will, then I must think on it hard, and if I accept, as I’m not saying I won’t, then I’ll be his wife.”

Lady Eleanora spoke softly, “Who is he?”

“A groom of the stables here at the general’s manor. I’ll fetch the wig so’s you can descend the stairs to the ball. I can hear them fiddles now.”

Indeed, the strains of a Viennese waltz lilted up the stairs above the low rumble of men’s laughter.

“Let them wait, pet.” Eleanora turned to face her reflection in the mirror. She wore a low-cut sapphire gown with a lace bodice, and though her rich dark hair usually hung freely, tonight it would be tightly pinned under the heavy old-fashioned powdered wig. “Tell me more about him.”

“Why, he’s ever so nice. Joel Kipp’s his name. From Connetty-cut. He’s tall, mum, and lean, and he has such happy gray eyes. He can ride the most spirited of the general’s steeds with ease and skill. I bet he could ride your Hecate first time.”

“How does this, this love make you feel?”

Kate blushed. “It’s ever so wonderful, mum! When he speaks my name, I quiver, . . . though I’d never compromise my virtue! Never!” She shook her head seriously, then her eyes widened. “But I did kiss him once, and it stole my very breath away.” Kate pinned up the braid. “A-course it’s nothing, like you must’ve felt with Master Jacob . . . ”

The mention of her late husband stung Eleanora.

About the Author

JACK CASEY is an attorney who has handled civil, criminal and constitutional matters for thirty years in his solo practice. In HAMILTON’S CHOICE, Casey dramatizes the last three years of Alexander Hamilton’s life, and plausibly explains why he went to his first and fatal duel. Casey’s newest release, INTO THE HEARTLAND, is a sweeping saga of adversity and triumph around the building of the Erie Canal (1810–1825). His other published historical novels are LILY OF THE MOHAWKS and THE TRIAL OF BAT SHEA.

Casey graduated with honors from Yale University and Albany Law School, and has studied literature at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. He lives in Troy, NY and Raleigh, NC with his wife and editor, Victoria.

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Monday, April 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 20
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, April 22
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, April 23
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, April 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, April 25
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Wednesday, April 28
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, April 29
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, April 30
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Monday, May 3
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, May 5
Review at Sheila Myers Author

Giveaway

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The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Into the Heartland