Tag: A Mighty Fortress

Faith Blum: The Pinkerton Detective Agency

I am thrilled to be here again! I have so much fun reading the blog posts on this blog and even more fun when I get to be a guest author. Today, I’m going to talk about two of my favorite genres of books: Westerns and Mysteries.

When I discovered Dad’s Louis L’Amour books, I read every one we owned and then started getting more and more and more from the library. When I wasn’t reading one of Louis L’Amour’s books, I would read a mystery book, usually Sherlock Holmes. Of course, I also read other genres, but those were the two I loved the best.

3D The Solid RockBecause of my love of Westerns, becoming an author of Westerns was an easy choice. Mystery, though, was a genre I didn’t think I would be able to do successfully. Then I came to book five in my series and it didn’t work any other way than with a mystery. So I wrote it as a Western Mystery.

Along the way, I had to do some research on the Pinkerton Detective agency. Since the main character is a Pinkerton detective, I wanted to make sure I did things correctly. Even if that meant I ended up with two William’s in my story. I already had a William in the series who’s name couldn’t be changed and I couldn’t just ignore him since he was good friends with Joshua, the main character. And William Pinkerton was the boss after his father, Allan, died, so Joshua would naturally have to talk to him, too.

A few interesting facts about Pinkerton Detectives:

  • Allan wasn’t always a detective. He started out as a rabble-rouser in Ireland, then moved to Dundee, Illinois, with his very young wife (she claimed to be 17, but many think she may have been 14), where he became a cooper.
  • Allan’s first mystery was solved unintentionally. He went to an island to get some wood for his barrels and found evidence of some unsavory characters, told the sheriff, and was instrumental in putting some counterfeiters behind bars.
  • After that, Allan was asked to become a Deputy Sheriff of the county and did so for a short time.
  • His name started coming up to some people who then decided to hire him privately as a detective.
  • Allan started out with investigating train robberies.
  • On President Lincoln’s journey to the inauguration, Allan Pinkerton was the one who convinced President Lincoln to sneak into Washington. No one knows for sure if there were people ready to assassinate Lincoln before he could truly become President or not, but Allan Pinkerton was very convinced of it.
  • He fought in the Civil War under the name Major E. J. Allen.
  • He was very reluctant to hire a female detective, but eventually did.

There’s just a few fascinating facts about Allan Pinkerton. To close out my blog post, I’ll give you a little excerpt of Joshua talking to his adopted brother about Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective.

As they galloped and then slowed to a fast canter, Otis pondered what Joshua had shared. What had Allan fled from? What else had he done in his career as a detective? Had he been unwilling to hire a woman? And who was this Strong Eagle Joshua had known?

Otis looked around, drinking in the sights, sounds, and smells. He had never left Castle City and had always wondered what it looked like beyond the confines of their small town. Sure, they had silver mining and ranches, but that was nothing compared to the wildness of this country.

He knew Daniel and Harriet Brookings attributed it all to God. Even his aunt Eleanor believed it was all from God and she had grown up with his father. His father had said all the God talk was hogwash and was only for weaklings. But his father had been wrong about a lot of things. Was he wrong about God, too?

Otis sighed. Maybe after the Pinkerton and Indian discussions, he could ask Joshua.

He scowled. Why does everything have to be so confusing and complicated? It seems like it’s getting worse the older I get, too. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t been born, but then I wonder what would’ve happened to my sisters if I hadn’t been there. Why is God portrayed as loving when He allowed Pa to do so many bad things? If he’d only had one kid or none… Why did six have to suffer all that?

Otis shook his head and looked up. His cheeks warmed when he saw Joshua waiting for him. “Sorry, I didn’t realize Princess had slowed down.”

“It’s fine. You looked deep in thought.”

“Mm hm.”

“Want to share?”

“Maybe some other time. I’d rather hear about the woman detectives.”

Joshua and Otis got their horses trotting and Joshua smiled. “Kate Warne. She was the first. When she came into Pinkerton’s office and said she wanted to be a detective, at first Allan didn’t think she could handle it. A lot of the places detectives go are dangerous and require physical strength.

“He thought about it overnight and said yes the next morning. Mrs. Warne helped with the train robbery case I told you about, too, by befriending the wife of the man who was stealing the items.”

“How many women detectives does Mr. Pinkerton have?”

“I don’t know.”

“When did he start being a detective?”

“Eighteen-fifty.”

“Oh! So he probably fought in the War Between the States.”

“He was a major. Major E. J. Allen.”

Otis blinked. “What?”

“His real name was too well known.”

“Why?”

“He was the one to convince President Lincoln to sneak into Washington, D.C., before his inauguration. He’d uncovered a plot to have Lincoln assassinated and worked tirelessly to uncover it.”

“So he saved the President’s life?”

“Most likely. He was one of the few who believed there really was a threat.”

“Hmm.”

They were silent for a few minutes.

“What do Pinkertons do now?”

“Pretty much anything.”

“What have you done?”

Joshua took a deep breath. “We need to go fast again. I’ll answer that on our next trot.”

Otis wrinkled his nose. “Fine.” He spurred his horse forward and raced ahead of Joshua.

A Mighty FortressThe first book in my series, A Mighty Fortress, is now permafree, so feel free to click on the cover and pick up your copy. It is also available on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

One lucky commenter will get an eBook of their choice of any of my books.

Author Picture 2015-2016 bFaith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she’s grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

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Welcome Guest – Faith Blum

Faith with Rikki-croppedAn Unusual Series

On my blog recently, I was asked the following questions:

As a writer of a series of books, do you fear you’ll lose momentum going into the next book or maybe that you will fall into the same pattern as the last one? For me, even with different characters, I find some books have the same rhythm. How do you avoid this?

I love this question for two reasons. Number one, it means I get to talk about each of my books at the same time. And number two, because I get to introduce my series to my readers in a more complete fashion that I haven’t done before.

To be honest, I don’t fear losing momentum going into the next book because each book is so different and I love revisiting old characters and creating new characters. As for falling into the same pattern, I don’t think that will be an issue either, again because of how different each book is from the others. If I do have that problem, it will be in books 2 and 3 since those two are so similar.

To explain further, the Hymns of the West series is probably going to be different from any series you’ve ever read. The first book, A Mighty Fortress, introduces most of the main characters, is a Young Adult adventure in 3rd person from different points of view (POV), and can be read as a standalone.

Be Thou My Vision, the second book, is a romance story in 1st person and needs to be read with book three to get the whole story. This book was published the end of October and has sold fairly well so far.

Book three, Amazing Grace, is also a romance story, but is in 3rd person from an omniscient POV and introduces more new characters. Lord willing, Amazing Grace will be published in February.

Come Thou Fount (working title) is the story of the sister of the main character from A Mighty Fortress and chronicles her struggles as a school teacher and growing up as a young lady in a rough and tumble Western town.

Book 5, The Solid Rock (working title), will be a mystery and I haven’t decided what person to write it in yet. It is about Joshua Brookings and how he tries to help Elizabeth Harris solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance.

Book 6 will be a coming of age and/or new adult book about a young man’s life gone wrong. I have no idea how to categorize it at. It’s not really an adventure, a coming of age novel, a romance, mystery, or any other regular genre except Christian Western.

And book seven, if I decide to write it, will be another coming of age novel.

I am super excited to have Be Thou My Vision published in both Kindle and paperback and I am hoping to publish Amazing Grace on Valentine’s Day.

Hymns of the West

About Faith’s books:

A Mighty Fortress frontcover“Stay back!” Joshua ordered. He kept his eyes on the scene below while waving his arm in Ruth’s direction. “Get deeper into the woods and stay down low to the ground.”

Joshua hazarded a glance behind him. He could no longer see Ruth and breathed a sigh of relief. In one swift move, he grabbed his rifle and lay flat to the ground. Extending the rifle, he aimed at the shorter man whose gun was pointed at Bradshaw.

Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who’s hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom’s gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss’s right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what’s one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God’s strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running–the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

3D BeThouMyVision

The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door. As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore. I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys. With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me.

Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life. She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother. One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment. After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.

Then she meets two motherless boys. Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life? Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?

About Faith:

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, moderating on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

You can find Faith on her Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter

Faith is offering an ebook giveaway of A Mighty Fortress and Be Thou My Vision to one commenter today. Just leave a comment telling her about your favorite POV in books.

Thanks for having me on Petticoats and Pistols today. It’s been fun!

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