I first “met” Pegg, when we started chatting over an amazing debut author. Shortly afterward, I read her book in one of the Barbour collections (Lighthouses) and I loved her book (and it was almost if not the only one I loved in the collection).
Since then, she’s gone on to publish other historical books. As a “Colonial to Post Civil War” author, her books span a good bit of history, but they all hold one thing in common–strong women, true history, everyone on all sides of coins coming out looking as bad and good as human nature can be and as history reflects.
If You Love Authentic Historical Fiction, Don’t Miss This Author
One of the things I love most about Pegg Thomas’ writing is that she doesn’t shy away from things that aren’t exactly popular. If historical people did terrible things… she shows it. If they did good things that don’t fit the current narrative… she shows that, too. Because of this, you see a raw, gritty side to historical fiction that is often glossed over in books that prefer to dwell on a kinder, gentler past.
In her first book of the Forts of Refuge series, Sarah’s Choice, I got a chapter or two in and realized that Sarah was about to be raped. I can handle a lot in fiction, but that one thing is just too hard for me to get past, so I tend not to keep going when I see it coming. I then email the author and ask how much is involved. While I want to read the books, I also need to ensure I don’t end up making my family deal with nightmares, you know?
Pegg assured me that her book wasn’t a “how-to” manual. That cracked me up. And she’s right. I went back and kept reading and guess what? We know the horror of what Sara endures without seeing too much of it play out on the page. Thank you, Pegg.
While we chatted, Pegg Thomas told a bit about her writing process.
This included a fun tidbit… Sarah’s Choice was the first book that she can say “the Lord gave” it to her. Usually, she struggles to get every word, but not with this one. Alas, the other two in the series weren’t that easy, either. Oh, well. Also, Pegg hinted that there will be two more books in the series eventually. (Note: each book in this series stands alone but some characters may crossover).
Pegg also pointed out that while this is Christian Fiction, it is also a bit of a “bridge” book between CF and mainstream. The Christian themes are overt, and as one reader said (loosely paraphrased), “I didn’t see Jesus’ name written in the book, but Christ was definitely there.” I love that.
Sarah’s Choice by Pegg Thomas
Sarah Feight has her life planned with a loving husband, a promising new settlement, and big dreams to shape the future of trade on Pennsylvania’s frontier. An Indian attack at dawn changes everything.
When he pulls his freight wagons into Fort Pitt, Leith McCully never dreams he’ll be conscripted into the militia and ordered to defend the fort. Worried about trader friends on his delivery route, he rides to their settlement and returns with Sarah, the only survivor.
Fort Pitt is crowded to twice its capacity with the settlers who have taken refuge there and surrounded by the rising smoke of burned-out settlements. Tempers flare, disease breaks out, and the constant fear of the next attack has everyone on edge.
Cully keeps an eye on Sarah because he feels responsible for her. And, though he doesn’t admit as much, she tugs at his heart. Sarah sees Cully as the last link to her past. A friend of her husband’s family. She’s going to need someone she can trust, and she trusts Cully. Her rescuer.
Are trust and admiration enough to help them survive the siege and its devastating consequences? Is there any hope for a future beyond?
To learn more about Pegg Thomas (and to sign up for her newsletter and be entered into her drawings for a handknitted shawl!!!), visit her WEBSITE. I love that she calls herself a “spinner of yarns.” How well that fits TWO sides of her!