Launching History

Edith here, still north of Boston. Not launching history, exactly. But Delivering the Truth, my first historical mystery, comes out on April 8 and we have a fun launch planned! I’m giving away my last ARC of the book to one commenter today, too.

Note: Sarah H, you are the winner of Leslie Karst’s book! Please write to Edith at edithmaxwellauthor at gmail dot com, or send a facebook message. Congratulations.

In case you haven’t heard, the book features a Quaker midwife solving crimes in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town – the one I live in. I was trying to think of a good way to tie all that Island of Beyondtogether when a local author pal, Elizabeth Atkinson, asked if I wanted to do a joint launch party at Jabberwocky Bookshop, the independent bookstore in the next town. Her two children and my two all went through the Pentucket Regional schools, and she wanted to pay back by having the launch benefit the Pentucket Arts Foundation.

Elizabeth writes award-winning middle grade fiction, and I love her books, including her new one, The Island of Beyond. Saying “yes” was easy. A Pentucket High student is going to interview us during the launch and then write up the story for the school paper, which both my sons also wrote for. We’ll have a raffle and other activities. It’ll be fun. Join us at 7 PM on April 8 if you can.

Picture used with permission from Edward Gerrish Mair.
Picture used with permission from Edward Gerrish Mair.

But – that didn’t address the historical side of my book. When I walk the streets of my town, I’m always imagining my characters doing the same. When I sit in silence in the Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday morning, I picture midwife Rose Carroll at my side, and John Greenleaf Whittier across the room. When I walk up Carriage hill, I imagine the clatter of carriages on paving stones.

I decided to engage the services of a publicist to help me with this launch. And Skye Wentworth came up with a very cool idea. I’m going to conduct a short walking tour of Amesbury on Sunday afternoon, April 10, with comments about various places that occur in the book, and what happens at each. We start in front of Market Square Bakehouse at 1:30 PM. We’ll visit the Meetinghouse and the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum, too, and have a few short readings.

Edith's Book Tour

A local historical seamstress is making a Quaker dress for me. I hope it works out, since I no longer have the waist of a corseted woman (well, okay, I never did…) If it does, I’ll wear that on the walking tour. I made a Quaker bonnet that turned out okay, BonnetFlattoo!

Finally, we’re going to finish the day with a book party from 3-5 at Crave Restaurant, a fabulous local place housed in the historic train depot building. It’s owned by the son of an awesome local real estate agent, Cathy Toomey, who had the winning charity bid to name a character in the series. Look for Catherine Toomey in Delivering – and she has an even bigger part in book two, Called to Justice! At the

Cathy Toomey

party we’re going to have snacks and you can buy a glass of your favorite beverage and talk history – oh, and get a book signed by the author, too.

I hope you’ll join us. But if you can’t, you’ll be able to find the map and virtual walking tour on my web site by April 10. And don’t forget, an advance copy of the book to one lucky commenter today!

Readers: What’s your favorite historical place to walk around in? Who from the past do you imagine walking around with you?

38 Thoughts

  1. What a marvelous program of launch activities! I especially like the walking tour – wonderful way to get perspective on a historical town. Best of luck with all of them, and I look forward to reading the book!

  2. I’m not sure how historical it is but love to walk around my grandmother’s old Friends chrurch and she is with me the entire time.

  3. I love walking around the ruins in New Mexico. A few years ago I visited Philadelphia with some friends and I without about Benjamin Franklin the whole time, and wondered about him and the places he lived.

  4. I’d love to do that walking tour. Sounds like a lot of fun, and I love to visit places I’ve read about.

    I’ve read an ARC of this book (my review will be up Friday), and it’s a great book. Be sure to get and read a copy because you’ll enjoy it.

  5. Your book sounds awesome! Tanks for the great giveaway! I love to watch historical Tv shows. I’m really into Underground right now, but I love Mercy Street and Downton Abbey.

  6. I am a Recorded Quaker minister and would love to read this book. Pick me please

  7. Edith, I would love to take your book walking tour, if only I could be there. What a great idea! I am thankful you will have a virtual walking tour and will take that!

    I woud walk around Salem with Nathaniel Hawthorne. We’d go down Essex Street with a stop to chat outside the Jonathan Corwin House and over near the House of Seven Gables and the candy shop across the road.

    I would like to talk with him about inherited guilt and commiserate on our family histories there especially in the time of the Court of Oyer and Terminer witch trials. While Hawthorne changed the spelling of his name to distance himself from his grandfather, Judge Hathorne, one of my own ancestors changed his for a similar reason. My ancestor Robert Paine was a foreman of the grand jury. His grandson, John Paine, moved to Quebec, married into the French community there, and changed his name to Jean Pain. We eventually ended up back in Salem, in the same area, when my great-grandparents “returned” looking for work.

    I wouldn’t be able to write a timely review, so it would be best to leave me out of the book-winner pool but not that I wouldn’t want one! Absolutely will buy one to read! So looking forward to it!

      1. I only discovered it a few years ago when researching Salem and family history for a writing project. It was a surprise! It’s connected a lot of dots that I’m currently using in my historic study of the area. What convinced me that there was sound basis, aside from the written documentation, was my DNA. Perhaps I take too much pleasure in upsetting the family apple carts. Yeah. No. It’s good without malice.

  8. I never thought of there being a Quaker midwife doing such dangerous work such as crime solving! How interesting.

  9. Your launch event sounds wonderful, certainly wish I lived closer.
    One of my favorite places to walk is in our former hometown in Titusville, PA. It is the Drake Well Park. While walking I think about the early settlers during the oil boom era and what their lives were like.

  10. I’m fascinated by Quakers AND midwives so obviously I need to read your book! I’m also running a year-long “Reading New England” challenge on my website and I wonder whether you would be interested in doing a guest post? Email if you’d like to learn more: (lory [AT] emeraldcitybookreview -DOT- com).
    I would love to go on your walking tour too, as I’m also looking to visit as many literary New England locations as I can this year – – but I”m singing in a concert that day, alas. To answer your question, it’s hard to pick just one place, but in keeping with the New England theme, I love to imagine walking around Concord, MA with Louisa May Alcott. I

  11. Sounds awesome! I have only been there a couple of times, but I really liked walking around the Living History Farms in Des Moines.

  12. I love Colonial Williamsburg. I have visited several times since childhood. I’d like to walk around with Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor in the US (1800s). I’d love to know how she really experienced her education and career, how her life unfolded both as a physician and simply a female human being at that time. I suspect your book is very interesting, indeed! Best wishes.


    1. Thanks so much, Ruth. I’ll be back to California one of these years. It’s where I grew up, after all, and I still have many relatives and friends in the Bay area. What part do you live in?

Comments are closed.