Please welcome my guest, MaryLu Tyndall.
We have a contest for you through March 16, 2013 11:59 CST.
To participate, answer the question at the end of the post for a chance to win the book.
Winner chosen by random.org
Confederate Soldiers in Brazil? By MaryLu Tyndall
Tucked away in the city of Santa Bárbara, Brazil, there is a little cemetery named Campo. Should you happen upon it, I encourage you to take a stroll among the cracked tombstones where you’ll view names such as the Carltons, Cobbs, Greens, Moores, Smiths and tons more—all common names in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina in the nineteenth century. (Click here if you’d like to see a complete list. You might have a relative there!) If you stay in the area long enough you may also be privileged to witness a celebration put on by the Fraternidade Decendencia Americana (American Descendants’ Fraternity) at that same cemetery four times a year. Women dress in hoop skirts and men in nineteenth century attire and they dance and sing and eat traditional meals of fried chicken and biscuits and gravy, while listening to songs such as “Dixie” and “God Save the South”. If you look close enough, you may see flashes of red or blonde hair or pairs of blue eyes among the brown. You might even hear patches of quaint English spoken along with Portuguese!
An odd sight to any visitor, unless you know the history. A history I was completely unaware of until four years ago when I started doing research and decided to base my next series, Escape to Paradise, on what I discovered. Much like thousands of Southerners after the Civil War, the characters in my series, rather than face the humiliation, defeat, and devastation of the war, board a ship and sail to fairer shores where they hope to establish their Southern way of life in peace. Brazil was the perfect spot. Similar in climate to the South, with plenty of good land for farming, cheap labor and political and religious tolerance, they foresaw nothing but an escape from their struggles and a future utopia to enjoy.
Conservative estimates derived from newspapers, available numbers, and descendants tell us that perhaps close to 20,000 Southerners came to Brazil to resettle after the war. The crew of the ship, NewHope, in new release, Forsaken Dreams, harbor many of the same dreams and hopes as these historic people. And like these immigrants, they had no idea what they were up against! Running away from God and from your problems isn’t always a good idea. Nor is believing that creating a perfect Utopia was going to be easy. That is, if you even survived the journey to Brazil in the first place, a journey often fraught with disease, starvation, shipwreck, storms, thieves, and even violence on board the ship. After these hopeful Southerners landed in Brazil, they faced tropical diseases, bugs the size of men’s hands, crop failures, overwhelming heat, flash floods, and a host of other problem. Some Utopia, eh?
I encourage you to follow the adventures of the crew of the New Hope in the first book in the series, Forsaken Dreams, as they set out from Charleston, South Carolina and head toward Brazil. Each of the characters harbor dangerous secrets, some that could destroy the others. Though they face many dangers from both sea and from man, will the worst danger come from the natural or the supernatural? Or perhaps God assembled this specific group of people for a mission in Brazil that far exceeds all their forsaken dreams.
What about you? Have you ever wanted to just drop everything and run away from all your problems? If so, where and why?