Tag Archives: african american women making history

Historical Author Elaine Cougler Talks about the Inspiration of Her Ancestors in Her Novel

This afternoon, I have an excerpt and a guest article by author Elaine Cougler. She just released The Loyalist’s Luck, the second book in her trilogy, which I reviewed and highly recommend, and also don’t miss an interview with her that I had previously to discuss the book and her writing. I encourage you to check out both, as well as her feature below, then dive into the book yourself and get lost in American (and Canadian) history for awhile. If you’re curious about the first book in the series, The Loyalist’s Wife, then you can check out that past review as well.

02_The Loyalist's Luck

The Loyalist’s Luck, Excerpt~

“And who are you?” the booming voice called out as Governor Simcoe turned back.
  “I am John Garner, late of this township but now of Bertie Township.” The governor took a couple of steps toward John. “And what do you need of me at this awkward and extremely inconvenient time, my good man?”
  “It’s the land grants, sir. In Bertie Township.”
  “Yes, what about them? You have one already, don’t you? He almost shouted, his face so close to John’s that his sharp woodsy scent combined with the sweaty smell of a man of action rendered John speechless. He stood a moment, felt his head nodding, and then continued.
  “I, I need proof, sir. A proper deed. Of ownership.” He stopped and waited. In less time than a heartbeat the Governor turned on his heel and headed for the door. Over his shoulder he hollered, “Come with us tomorrow. We’ll talk on the trail.”

Land Grants, Governor Simcoe and the Peace Bridge
by Elaine Cougler, Author

Research is such fun for me when I’m working on a novel because I absolutely love to find new nuggets, especially when they relate to my novels. The Loyalist trilogy focuses on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the forging of my province and country after those events.

Did you know that paper was so scarce in the Niagara area when Loyalists flooded across the border at present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake that no proper land deeds could be written? Instead new owners got a simple playing card with their lot numbers on them. Some of these survive today but I’ve never actually seen one.

I lived a mile north of the Governor’s Road for all my growing up years so that Governor Simcoe’s name was very familiar to me. His wife’s was not. I bought her diary (Mrs. Simcoe’s Diary) and used it for research, all the while loving the abundance of information on just what my part of the country was like two hundred years ago.

But the treasure I found which most stunned me was learning that my ancestor actually owned Lot 1, Concession 1 of Bertie Township right where the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie crosses to Buffalo. This fact and a few others have found their way into The Loyalist’s Luck. You won’t recognize them in the story, probably, but knowing some of my history is in the book is a secret source of delight for me.

02_The Loyalist's LuckThe Loyalist’s Luck, Synopsis~

Publication Date: October 2014
Peache House Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: The Loyalist Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction

When the Revolutionary War turns in favor of the Americans, John and Lucy flee across the Niagara River with almost nothing. They begin again in Butlersburg, a badly supplied British outpost surrounded by endless trees and rivers, and the mighty roar of the giant falls nearby. He is off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she is left behind with her young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy—her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy.

With vivid scenes of heartbreak and betrayal, heroism and shattered hopes, Elaine Cougler takes us into the hearts and homes of Loyalists still fighting for their beliefs, and draws poignant scenes of families split by political borders. The Loyalist’s Luck shows us the courage of ordinary people who, in perilous times, become extraordinary.

Author Elaine Cougler, Biography~

03_Elaine CouglerA lifelong reader and high school teacher, Elaine found her passion for writing once her family was grown. She loves to read history for the stories of real people reacting to their world.

Bringing to life the tales of Loyalists in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 is very natural as Elaine’s personal roots are in those struggles, out of which arose both Canada and the United States.

For more information please visit Elaine Cougler’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/theloyalistsluckblogtour/

Hashtags: #LoyalistsLuckBlogTour #HistoricalFiction

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @ElaineCougler

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Filed under Guest Posts

Celebrating Women Series: Nike Campbell-Fatoki Writes on Funlayo Alabi and Her Empowerment of African Women

Welcome to the 15th article in the “Celebrating Women” Series for Women’s History Month! It’s the first time I’ve coordinated an author guest article series to celebrate women in history or women making history! Thank you to Nike Campbell-Fatoki for this next article. If you’d like to continue on with the tour, which runs March 19-31, 2014, follow along each day on the main blog or head to this blog page, Women in History, which will be updated daily with the scheduled link.


Women’s History Month – Woman Making History
Funlayo Alabi of Shea Radiance: Empowering African Women
by Nike Campbell-Fatoki, author and business owner

“Shea Radiance represents the full circle of giving that uplifts women all the way through the value chain. from seed to shelf.”

Not many companies can say that they started off with the goal of helping the community. Not many can say they were motivated to give back seeing the hardship of others. It is usually an afterthought.

shea-radiance-natural-funlayo-alabiNot so with Funlayo Alabi and Shea Radiance – an eco-luxury beauty brand, located in Columbia, Maryland a suburb in the Washington DC metropolitan Area. Shea Radiance creates effective and luxurious beauty products using shea butter as the key active ingredient. Delivered in sustainable packaging, the products positively impact the lives of women and children in Nigeria.

Shea-Radiance-Abuja-Nigeria-2013-35Shea radiance was borne out of a necessity as so many innovative things are. Funlayo’s son suffered from dry and eczema-prone skin. In 2005, a search for a cure led Funlayo and her husband, Shola, back to their homeland, Nigeria, West Africa. They witnessed the hardship of the women – lack of access to education and good health care – who gathered the nuts to produce raw shea butter and were moved.

Inspired to make a difference, they have created channels for women to sell their products and earn disposable income. Women who have the desire to work and make money for their family but do not have the financial capacity are given the opportunity through training, cooperative building and capacity building.

Shea-Radiance-Abuja-Nigeria-2013-31Shea Radiance’s core values are quality and integrity. The company continues to reach back and buy raw shea butter from the women.

Funlayo Alabi makes Nigeria and Africa proud. Today, she is making history as a woman who cares for her fellow women and is doing something about it. She recognizes that women hold the key to a life out of poverty. As Dr. James Aggrey stated, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate woman, you educate a nation.”

Shea communities (3)

Website: Shea Radiance! 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shearadiance
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shearadiance


Nike Campbell-Fatoki, Biography~


Funlayo Alabi (l) and Nike Campbell-Fatoki (R)

Nike Campbell-Fatoki is the author of Thread of Gold Beads, a historical fiction novel published in November 2012 in the US and 2013 in Nigeria, and a collection of short stories, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon

She dabbles in poetry, has a passion for mentoring and is an advocate for domestic violence victims.

She loves traveling, watching movies, and listening to music. She is also the owner and creative director of Eclectic Goodies, an African-inspired home décor, party favors and gifts packaging company.

Her passion continues to be having a positive impact in people’s lives where ever she goes. She does this through the platforms available to her – writing, blogging, and public speaking.

She was born in Lvov, Ukraine to Nigerian parents. She spent her formative years in Lagos, Nigeria, listening to stories and folktales told by her maternal Grandparents. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree in International Development from American University. She’s a fiscal director and lives in the Washington DC area with her family.

Twitter: @nikecampbell6

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Filed under Feature Articles, Guest Posts