Release Day and the Story Behind #CivilWar #timetravel #romance Secret Lady (Part Two)

Secret Lady is based on events that occurred to my ancestors and my husband’s Mennonite forebears during the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Historical accounts from the Civil War are a huge part of the inspiration behind Secret Lady. I grew up hearing about the war and its enormous impact on the family, and knew it would inevitably become the focus of a story or two.  But the initial challenge to write this story didn’t come from the war.

My eldest daughter, Alison, told me of the uncanny connection she and her friend, Cristin, have with the creepy closet in our house. It is, in fact, the only closet. Old homes were built without them, and it’s a slightly more modern addition. Throughout her childhood, Alison was terrified of this walk-in, but duck your head space, particularly unfortunate as it occupied the far-right corner of her bedroom. The extra creepy factor is the entry to hidden parts of the house lies at the back corner of the closet. Alison learned that Cristin, as a child, had recurring dreams (nightmares) about a closet in an old boxy white farmhouse that strongly resembled ours. In her dreams, Cristin ventured up the stairs, traveled to the end of the hall, and entered the last bedroom. She feared a black antique trunk (check—we have one from my great-grandfather) in the closet at the far right of the room where a disturbing presence dwelled. It wasn’t a huge leap to conceive a heroine with similar fears.

Story Blurb:
At Lavender House, Evie McIntyre is haunted by the whispers from her bedroom closet. Before she can make sense of their murmurs, the house “warbles” between times and transports her to the Civil War. Past and present have blended, and Evie wishes she’d paid more attention to history. Especially since former Confederate officer, Jack Ramsey, could use a heads up.

Torn between opposing forces, Jack struggles to defend the valley and people he loves. Meeting Evie turns his already tumultuous world upside down. Will solving the mystery of the whispers return her home, and will the handsome scout be by her side?

Against the background of Sheridan’s Burning of the Shenandoah Valley, Jack and Evie fight to save their friends and themselves – or is history carved in stone?


She took a steadying breath, turned the brass knob, and stepped into the room. The fragrance of lavender greeted her. Grandma G. had tucked sachets under her mattress to help her sleep and left small cloth bags in the drawers of an antique dresser. A sachet of apricot scented agrimony lay beneath her pillow.

This age-old herb was thought to induce slumber and offer protection against the dark forces. Other powerful herbs scented the room. Angelica, St. John’s Wort, and sage were in the bunch on the bedside stand beside the antique brass lamp with an ornamental white shade.

The walk-in, but duck your head, closet at the far side of the room summoned her. Boxes of Christmas decorations, a Santa, and reindeer figures stored inside the slanted nook partially hid the steps leading to the attic and the presence she swore was there. She hadn’t encountered the being in question. Yet. It wasn’t cool for a nineteen-year-old to harbor terrors of a closet, but she did.

She threw her hands up after a particularly loud summons. “What do you want from me?”

There was a rap on the downstairs door. ~

Secret Lady is available in print and eBook from The Wild Rose Press and eBook from all major online booksellers.

In Kindle and print at Amazon:

In Nook Book:

At iTunes:

At Google Play:

At Kobo:

If you are interested in reviewing, leave me a comment or contact me.

For the fascinating story behind Secret Lady Part One visit this link:

18 responses to “Release Day and the Story Behind #CivilWar #timetravel #romance Secret Lady (Part Two)

  1. Congratulations on your new release, Beth! Wonderful post! Can’t wait to read this one!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an intriguing story! Made me think of my grandmother’s house and all the spooky nooks and crannies that scared me to death as a child. Congratulations on what looks to be another MUST READ story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer Zander Wilck

    Such fascinating history! Best of luck with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, this sounds good, Beth! I remember how eerie some places in Hopewell were where my mother grew up. Her parents immigrated from Hungary in the 1890s, so they weren’t around during the Civil War, but some of my aunt’s and uncle’s families were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved how you incorporated your family history into the story, Beth. Wishing you all the best with SECRET LADY!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cool concept! Hidden corners of old houses are always intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh, what a creepy connection to the story! A book just waiting to be written!
    Best of luck with it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beth, it documented that lunatic Sheridan spun into deeper depravity in the Shenandoah Valley, and that some of his soldiers followed him into deeper madness. One lit Ann ancestor’s (Pacifist who helped all) home on fire and shouted “If you put out the fire, we will kill you.” My ancestor put out the fire, when a pleading neighbor informed him that the Union soldiers were indeed coming back end killing. So with tears flowing (to eternity) my ancestor re-lit his own home’s fire and watched it burn to the ground. Thru this and others my family experienced war’s madness.


    • Owen, I remember this tragic story. I read all of this horror in John Heatwole’s book, The Burning, and also in the collection of accounts recorded in Unionists and the Civil War Experience in the Shenandoah Valley, compiled by David S. Rodes and Norman R. Wenger. Unbelievable. The Samuel Shank family who are Dennis’s ancestors, lost absolutely everything. That story is passed down in the family.


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