Angela Christina Archer and Those Hidden Gems of History

The Fillies are thrilled to have Angela Archer aka London James come to talk about the incredible hidden gems in history. She has a giveaway as well.

Imagine being yanked from the comfort of your home (or, in most cases, your wagon) and thrust into an unfamiliar world where you don’t speak the language, understand the customs, or recognize the faces around you. It’s the stuff of novels, and yet, it was the reality that a lot of women faced when Native American tribes captured them.

I first stumbled upon these captivating tales while researching for my book, “A Terrible Glory,” which delves into the fascinating history of the Battle of Little Bighorn. The more I learned, the more I realized that these women’s stories were not just an essential part of history but also a testament to the incredible strength of the human spirit. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading about them; they were like hidden gems waiting to be unearthed, revealing their hardships, incredible strength, and resilience.

In the late 1800s, Native American tribes captured European and Euro-American women for various reasons – revenge, warfare, alliances, and even survival. These women, who were forcibly taken from their homes, faced unimaginable hardships. Yet, amidst the struggles, they had a spirit that defied even my imagination. Many of these women were adopted into the tribes that had captured them. They were given new names and began to assimilate into the tribe’s way of life, learning the language, traditions, and skills of the tribe.

Take the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, for instance. Captured by the Comanche tribe in Texas in 1836, she eventually became an integral part of the tribe. She married a Comanche chief and raised a family. Like many others, her transformation shows the incredible journey these women embarked upon during their captivity.

I won’t deny that many women didn’t have the same outcome. There were cases of abuse and murder, the dark side to the light side, just as with everything in history. But for some, the initial trauma of capture gave way to a period of learning and adaptation. Most of the women even brought their own skills with them, such as farming, cooking, and homemaking, to their captor’s communities, and, in return, they absorbed valuable survival skills and gained a profound understanding of Native American customs.

Olive Oatman’s story stands out as an example. Captured by the Yavapai tribe in Arizona in the 1850s, she was eventually adopted by the Mojave tribe. During her time with the Mojave, she learned how to adapt to the harsh desert environment and even embraced traditional tattooing as a part of her identity.

When some captives were eventually released or rescued, they faced the arduous task of reintegrating into society. The transition was far from smooth, as they had become deeply assimilated into their captor’s culture. Their own communities often viewed them with suspicion, fearing they had become too “Indian.”

Sarah Wakefield’s story is a testament to this struggle. Captured during the Dakota War of 1862, she defended the Dakota people during the trials that followed. Her actions led to accusations of treason and hostility from some in her own community.

And then there’s Mary Jemison, the famous author who was taken captive by the Seneca tribe during the French and Indian War. She chose to live the rest of her life as a Seneca woman and became known as “The White Woman of the Genesee.” Her story reflects the profound transformation captivity could have on one’s sense of self and belonging.

These women’s stories, so rich in detail and emotion, represent a complex and often overlooked chapter in American history. Not to mention, they challenge our preconceived notions about Native American-European relations.

In the end, they were remarkable survivors and often lived in two worlds, and their lives remind us of the resilience and the capacity for cultural exchange and understanding, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Question time! What part of the Native American history/culture interests you the most?

Leave a comment, and you might win an e-book copy of A Terrible Glory!


“It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend solely on himself.” ~ Lakota Proverb

They called it a terrible glory and the last great battle for the American West. While the battle of the Little Bighorn was the last stand by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer against the Lakota tribes, to Lily Sinclair, it was the last stand between her old life and her new beginning.

After her in-laws squander away the family fortune, Lily and her husband, Alfred, head west to the mountains of Montana, the only land available to poor people and far away from the debts haunting them. When a band of Cherokee warriors attacks their wagon train along the way, they kill her husband and take her captive, selling her to a Lakota tribe for the price of several horses.

Widowed Lakota warrior Tahatan has vowed never to take another bride after his wife’s death. However, he soon finds himself forced into a marriage with the outspoken, yellow-haired Yankee who challenges every thought in his head.

With Custer’s sights set on the hidden gold in the depths of the Black Hills, the Colonel begins his warpath on the tribe villages. Can Lily overcome the demons of her past and defend Tahatan and his people? Or will she betray them all for the actions against her dead husband?

This book was previously published with the title: “Through the Eyes of a Captive”. When I first started writing under Angela Christina Archer, I thought I would write Historical Romance forever. I have since changed genres, and with this change, my Historical Romance titles now bear the name London James and are predominantly Clean & Wholesome, often graced with light Christian elements. “Through the Eyes of a Captive” has been re-envisioned under this lens and has been revised and edited. *****THAT SAID, I HAVE TO ISSUE A WORD OF CAUTION: this work delves deeper and darker than typical London James titles. Centered on the Battle of Little Bighorn, it paints a realistic, sometimes stark picture of hardships, fights over land, and war, including its toll on children. Despite its serious themes, there’s no profanity or explicit content.


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London James – Miles Apart, Paws Together: A Barn Cat’s Unbelievable Homecoming

Hey, y’all! It’s London James, and I’m back. First and foremost, I would like to thank the lovely ladies at Petticoats and Pistols for allowing me to guest blog and spend some time with you today! Now, for all of you who have crossed paths with me before, you’ll remember me as the lady with the missing pony and the monkey sanctuary behind my house.

(For those who have never read the story yet, CLICK HERE

So, what sort of a story do I have for you today? Did I lose my pony again? Did I have another run-in with the monkeys? Thankfully, no. I haven’t. But I still do have a tale to tell about how, two days after Christmas, I found a whiskered intruder in my barn who ended up taking a 3,586-mile trek back home.

Now, before I delve into the tale any further, let me step back for a moment here to tell you that I don’t have barn cats. It’s not because I don’t like cats. I have five indoor-only cats in my house right now—much to my husband’s displeasure. It’s also not because I don’t think cats belong in a barn. I understand why people have them, and I know their worth for keeping pests in check. With that said, however, I still don’t have them because I’m scared to. I grew up where our cats were allowed to go outside, and while I would never say it’s bad, having to face the numerous losses to coyotes and knowing that a coyote den lurks just across the street from my house fills me with just enough fear that I just can’t bring myself to have barn cats.

Now that I’ve said that let’s dive right back into the tale . . .


So, here I was, two days after Christmas, in my barn with a cat that wasn’t mine, watching it as it meowed and rubbed on my legs. I was utterly perplexed about who she was and where she came from, and while, yes, I know we have neighbors who probably have cats, this is the first cat to appear in my barn since we moved here 15 years ago! And I didn’t recognize her.

She was a cute little thing, and so stinking friendly. She instantly jumped into my arms, purring like the motor from a 67’ GTO, and from the sheer roundness of her belly (No, it wasn’t kittens, she had a blue dot tattoo on her belly, indicating she had been spayed), it was evident that she was a pampered pet. So, what was I to do? Well, there wasn’t anything for me to do, then put her down and hope she would return home.

She didn’t.

Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I whisked her to my veterinarian, praying she had a microchip, and as luck would have it, she did. Yes! Finally. I would be able to find out where she lived and take her home! After making a few calls to the microchip maker and then the shelter where the chip was registered, I was given the name and number of the owner, and I left a message on her voicemail, not only hoping she’d call me back but expecting her to live close enough to me that I could just take the cat home.

Well, God managed to answer one of those hopes.

And this is when the story took a turn I hadn’t seen coming.

As it turns out, the owner of the cat used to reside a whopping 140 miles away from my home in another town. How this cat traveled through Oklahoma remains a mystery, but as we dug more into the details, the 140-mile trek was just the tip of the iceberg.

Did you notice how I said, “used to live”? Yeah, the owner didn’t live in that town anymore. In fact, the owner didn’t even live in Oklahoma anymore.

She lived in (and was calling me from) Alaska!

The story she gave me, which coincided with the details the shelter gave me when I called them, was that she adopted the cat in June of 2022, and a few weeks after she brought her home, the cat got out. She spent months looking for the cat but couldn’t find her, and when her military husband got orders that they had to leave, they had no other choice than to pack their bags and leave without the cat.

To say that the owner and I weren’t shocked would be an understatement—5 ½ months on the road, 140 miles from where she got out. How did she find her way to my barn? I asked the owner what she wanted to do about the whole thing, and she said, “I want my cat.” So, I said. “Then let’s make it happen.”

I spent the next several days contacting the news, different airlines, and a couple of rescues to see how and what we could do to get this military family reunited with their pet. And boy, did people step up. Alaska Airlines discounted the ticket and footed the bill for her overnight stay in Seattle. A local rescue woman and my friend chipped in for the crate, and I paid for her paperwork and physical exam. It was a huge undertaking and an exhausting week with a few setbacks that almost made me cry. Ultimately, we got her on the plane, and on January 5th, Athena, the cat, finally made it home.

If you want to check out the NEWS9 STORY that aired, here’s the link: News Story on Barn Cat

And you can bet this story will end up in a book!!!

Maybe not in any of my historicals, but definitely in my contemporaries.

Speaking of Historicals, I have a new series this year! It’s Oregon Trail Brides.

Books One and Two are out in the world! Book One is only $.99!

Four orphans and their headmistress set out for Oregon in search of men looking for mail-order brides. Will they find what they are looking for? Or will fate have other plans?

Plucked from a life of uncertainty at a bordello, Lark Brockwood finds herself at the mercy of fate. A ward of the Kensington Orphanage since she was little and scarred by her past experiences with men, she dreads the prospect of being forced to join a wagon train bound for Oregon in search of eligible husbands.

A man haunted by the loss of his family, Dr. Carter Evans travels west to start anew and leave the memories of his past behind. After he sets his sights on the guarded and alluring Lark, he finds himself drawn to her despite her attempts to keep him at bay.

When an outbreak of measles threatens the lives of everyone on the wagon train, including Lark, the journey west takes a dangerous turn. With Lark’s health rapidly deteriorating, Carter must do everything in his power to save her, even if it means laying bare his own vulnerabilities to prove to her that she is deserving of love and that she’s worth fighting for.

Will they be able to overcome their pasts and forge a future together, or will their love be lost to the peril of their journey? This is a timeless tale of love, redemption, and the power of second chances, set against the backdrop of the American West and a time when anything was possible, and the future was unwritten.

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Guest London James – Monkeying Around

So, this post isn’t book-related, but I couldn’t help myself. And although it happened years ago, I still think about this day often.

Before I get into my little tale, let me start by telling you that I don’t like monkeys. Yes, you read that right, monkeys.

I know people think monkeys are cute and, oh by golly, we send them to the moon and teach them sign language because they are so intelligent. Oh, my stars, how can I not love monkeys? I don’t know how. The point is, though, I don’t like them. They freak me out.

So, with this new-found knowledge of my weirdness, you can imagine how blatantly ironic it is that out of all the homes in this country, I live in one that is one-tenth of a mile away from a monkey rescue reserve.

Oh yeah. It’s true. I can see it from my house.

Don’t get me wrong; I think what this woman is doing is a very commendable thing. She’s giving these animals a good life, taking them in when no one else will. I applaud her for her work, as I am a big animal lover and believe in helping animals. Not to mention, I bought my home knowing about the reserve, so with that, all I can do is accept and respect that it’s there. And that’s what I’ve done. For the most part, I’ve even forgotten about it…well, not entirely forgotten, I mean, they freak me out, remember?

Not to mention, it’s kind of hard to ignore when every now and then I hear a bunch of monkeys screaming, cages start rattling like thunder, men and women start shouting, and then I hear pops of what I assume are tranquilizer guns. And all I can think is ‘OMGoodness, they’ve killed the older woman and are running free, and you know they are going to come straight to my house, because . . . well because I’m crazy!’

Anyway, with that said, I don’t think about it much . . . at least I didn’t until this now infamous one night.

After walking around my entire property looking for my daughter’s miniature horse, I discovered he was missing. While I know the concept of having a horse go missing is quite odd, it’s the summertime, and my horses are out on seven acres of pasture, so some days, unless I catch them heading into the barn to sleep or heading to the water for a drink, I don’t see them all day. After running to tell the neighbor, her husband informs me that he saw a sign propped up at the end of the driveway of the monkey reserve that read “Pony Found”.

At what point do you have to laugh at how karma can mess with you?

So, armed with a rope, we head up to the reserve. At this point, I’m thinking. “I’m okay. She’ll bring Thomas out, and I’ll walk him home. It’s no big deal. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. All of the enclosures are behind the large wall anyways to detour prying eyes, so I’m sure she’s not going to take me back there. I’ll be totally fine.”


After she greets me at the gate, she motions me to follow her . . . behind the wall . . . into the deepest part of her property . . . THROUGH THE MONKEY ENCLOSURES!!!!

Just before she leads me in through the security gate, she turns to me and says. “Keep your arms down at your sides, okay. And try to keep your distance.” I’m sorry, but I think I just hallucinated. Come again? While I told her. “Okay.” In my head, I’m screaming. “Are you insert a lot of unmentionable words kidding me?” But what can I do? I have to get my pony. My ridiculously stupid pony who will spend all the days of his life on this earth locked up with the goats after this.

She started walking through the enclosures, leading me between several cages that were feet apart. Feet apart, people!!! Some of the monkeys didn’t do anything other than watch me walk by them, but of course, wouldn’t you know some were not happy with my presence. They screamed, hissed, showed their teeth, and worse of all, they reached through the chain-link fencing and TRIED TO GRAB AT MY ARMS AND CLOTHES!!

I think my pony has a death wish . . . it’s the only logical explanation.

So finally, after walking me through more enclosures than I can count, she points me in the direction of a small pasture area, and of course, there is my pony in the far corner…next to another enclosure.

Now granted, I have to give this lady props. The property is quite lovely. The lawn is kept up with; the enclosures are clean, trees are planted everywhere, giving the place a relaxed, lush feeling. It was tranquil…without the screeching from the monkeys, of course.

But back to my story, so as I’m kneeling in front of Thomas, securing the halter on him, about five or six monkeys are mere inches from me, screaming, jumping all over their fence, and reaching through the chain links trying to touch him and me. Of course, he’s not phased. I mean, why would he be? Obviously, he doesn’t mind being around monkeys at all.

Finally, I get the halter on and start leading him out. Well then, of course, all heck breaks loose. Apparently, the monkeys are attached to the little horse, and I’m taking him away . . . I clearly must die . . .

While I made it out safely (albeit left in the emotional state of desiring nothing more than a corner, a blanket, and my thumb to suck on), I suppose all I can do is shake my head and laugh off what will go down as the experience of a lifetime even though I’m still having nightmares.

Now that I’ve shared mine, are there any types of animals that freak you out for one reason or another? Each comment is an entry into a drawing to win ONE of THREE eBook copies of Her Mail Order Mix-up (Brides of Lone Hollow #1). You’re also welcome to join my reader group on Facebook. We have lots of fun there, daily!

Her Mail Order Mix-Up (Brides of Lone Hollow #1)

Cullen McCray has no desire for marriage and love after the death of his first wife. A self-proclaimed lone wolf, he only wishes to spend his life in his cabin in the mountains, far away from his family’s ranch and his brother. But when Clint dies in an accident, he leaves behind a young daughter and it’s up to Cullen to pick up the pieces to help the girl. The question is can he also pick up the pieces for the woman, whom he knows nothing about, coming to marry his dead brother?

When Maggie Colton steps off the stagecoach in the small town of Lone Hollow, she’s unaware of her intended husband-to-be’s accident. She also doesn’t know about his brother or the condition of the cattle ranch she believed was something other than what it is. Clint hadn’t exactly been honest about everything, leaving Maggie to rough it in an older ranch house, an even older guest house, and a barn that has seen better days. Not to mention hundreds of cattle, dozens of chickens, pigs, horses, and what she is sure is the fattest cat she’s ever seen.

Will Cullen send her back before her bags are unpacked? And if she stays, will Maggie be able to not only win his heart but survive this new life she’s found herself in?


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