Everyone’s Story gives a big welcome to author Andrea Boeshaar. I’ve seen Andrea’s name plenty through the years, but it wasn’t until I invited her to visit with us on Everyone’s Story and began to format this week’s feature did I realize that Andrea has nearly 1 million books in print. Can you say WOW? That number boggles my mind. Congratulations, Andrea!! So, how does an author not burn out from writing story after story? Andrea’s “secret weapon” seems to be that she loves each story’s setting and time period. Join Andrea this week as she shares the road trip that helped her to re-fall-in-love with the setting of A Thousand Shall Fall, which is also the BookGiveaway that Andrea’s generously offering–check it out below. Both Andrea and I look forward to hearing from you.
Andrea is offering 1 printed copy of A Thousand Shall Fall, a Shenandoah Valley Saga, to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, March 11th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact form on the Contact Page to privately send me your email address).
Oh, Shenandoah! By Andrea Boeshaar
What is it about rivers? They evoke emotions. Serenity and longing, sadness and fear. They inspire songs. There’s “Moon River,” “Old Man River,” and “Proud Mary” who’s “rolling on the river,” just to name a few tunes. There’s also “Oh, Shenandoah,” an early nineteenth century folk song about the Shenandoah River. Most of us have heard it, but if you’re not familiar with the song, here is a YouTube link to a lovely, heart-tugging rendition.
The Shenandoah River
Indeed, the same elements of romance and mystery surround the Shenandoah Valley or “Daughter of the Stars,” as the Native Americans called it, and my husband Daniel and I decided to take a road trip and explore it. The books in my latest series, Shenandoah Valley Saga, are set in the Valley, so it was largely a research trip. And we picked the perfect time of year: October. The trees were just beginning to turn.
The year of our trip, 2014, also marked the 150th anniversary of the Battles of Winchester III and Cedar Creek which some would argue ensured a Union victory during the American Civil War.
Historical Marker on Old Valley Pike (US 11)
Marker and the place where Union troops bivouacked
I’m an American History enthusiast, so the Valley’s rich history beckoned me. Since much of my book, A Thousand Shall Fall, takes place in Winchester, we decided to tour the city’s historical section first. I walked past the Taylor Hotel that often served as a hospital for wounded soldiers. During the Civil War, the town was the center of three battles, one in May of 1862, the second in June of 1863, and the last in September, 1864.
Why so many? Winchester was (and is) the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley.
The Taylor Hotel which served as a hospital during the CW
I had no problem imagining the ladies of Winchester, Virginia, caring for soldiers who had been wounded in those conflicts. But no matter how gruesome the task, these courageous women rolled up their sleeves and tended to bloodied, wounded warriors. During America’s Civil War, their town, located in the lower Shenandoah Valley, was no stranger to cavalry raids, guerilla ambushes, and clashes between the North and the South.
Next Daniel and I decided to spend time cruising Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. It’s known for its spectacular views, and that’s no understatement! We stopped at Signal Knob, a place on Massanutten where Confederate soldiers spied on the Union Army. Southerners watched Yankees’ movements, and then signaled their commanders as to the enemy’s location. At just the right time, the Rebel Army would attack.
Andrea at Signal Knob (on a windy day)
The next day we made one final visit in the Valley—to the town of Middletown and its annual Civil War Weekend. The majority of events were held on the Belle Grove Plantation grounds. Some 5,000 re-enactors descended on the plantation’s grounds, and about the same number of attendees were expected, making this particular Civil War event one of the nation’s largest.
The Cooley Mansion (aka Belle Grove Plantation)
This is the office inside the mansion that General Philip Sheridan used
when Belle Grove served as Federal Headquarters
Andrea with two “living historians.”
As we packed the rental car to head home, I asked Daniel if we could stop and see the Shenandoah River once more. I was particularly drawn to its north fork near Front Royal where a skirmish between Yankee and Rebel cavalries took place in August of 1864. It’s where the beginning of my book takes place. The river was shallow, but its banks were just as hallowed as ever.
I was reminded then that rivers are living entities, life sustainers, and, most importantly, God’s creation. Like these rolling waters, remnants of history will continue to ebb and flow throughout generations. However, it’s up to us to keep it alive.
Andrea at the north fork of the Shenandoah River near Front Royal
Andrea’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: Visit with multi-published #historical author @AndreaBoeshaar. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)
Take a road tour with @AndreaBoeshaar to the Shenandoah Valley. (Tweet This)
#BookGiveaway of @AndreaBoeshaar’s A Thousand Shall Fall. #AmericanHistory #HistoricalFiction (Tweet This)
Andrea Boeshaar has been married for nearly 40 years. She and her husband, Daniel, often brag about their 5 precious grandchildren. Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994. Since then, thirty of her books have gone to press with nearly one million copies in print.
Places to connect with Andrea:
Elaine Sightings This Week:
Saturday, March 5th
Monday, March 7th