Saturday, March 3, 2018

Turning the Tide

Rose Carroll, here, from Edith Maxwell's Quaker Midwife Mysteries. My author asks me to share that she would be most happy to give away an advance copy of our new book to one fortunate person who pens a comment here today. She is also excited that our second tale, Called to Justice, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel!

I am so happy to tell thee that my author's third book about my humble life as a midwife - with a dose of sleuthing added, to my surprise - will be published next month. It is called Turning the Tide, and it recounts the adventures, intrigues, and tragedies that befell several of us during Presidential election week in the year of 1888.

Thee remembers, perhaps? It was when our incumbent -  President Grover Cleveland (who had my support, I have to tell thee) - ran against Benjamin Harrison for the highest office in the land. And not a one of us of the fairer sex could cast a vote!

Edith said I might present the opening pages of the book:

Rowena Felch stood tall and graceful on the podium in the Free Will Baptist Church hall. “In this election season of 1888, we must work with ever more diligence to gain women the vote!” She sliced the air with her fervor. “We must convince our Massachusetts lawmakers to act. It is past time.”

The Saturday night meeting of the Amesbury Woman Suffrage Association was jam-full. I’d arrived a bit late with my friend Bertie Winslow, and we’d found places to sit near the side of the hall. I could see easily, being at least as tall as the speaker, but petite Bertie craned her neck to catch a glimpse of the speaker. It was my first suffrage meeting, although not hers, and I’d met Rowena only once before, at Bertie’s house. The full room was warm with female bodies and smelled of women: floral aromas, breast milk, and yeasty hints of sweat, scents integral to my world of midwifery. The gas lamps on all the walls gave a welcoming aura and highlighted Rowena’s face glowing with fervor.

“Do not lose heart, ladies,” Rowena went on. “We shall gather on Tuesday across from the main polling place in the new Armory. Frannie will hand you each a sash on your way out tonight.” She gestured toward the back of the room. “Please wear them proudly on Election Day.”

I turned to look. Frannie Eisenman, the grandmother of a baby girl I’d delivered just last week, held a sunflower-yellow sash in the air and waved it for all to see.

“Does anyone have a question?” Rowena asked.

An older woman with hair the color of iron stood. It was Ruby Bracken, a member of the same Friends Meeting as me. “What is our plan if we’re met with opposition from the gentleman, as we surely will be?”

A teenage girl with curly black tresses sat next to Ruby. The girl’s eyes widened as if in fear at the thought of opposition, but I was glad to see females of all ages at the meeting. An older lady with a comfortable corset-free figure and soft white sausage curls framing her face emerged from a side door at the front of the hall and walked to the podium. Rowena took a pace back, beaming at the newcomer.

“If this comes to pass, we shall link arms and stand tall,” the woman proclaimed, her flat black lace headdress falling like a veil and accentuating her snowy-white hair.

Bertie’s mouth fell open. “That’s Mrs. Stanton!”

The Mrs. Stanton?” I asked, shifting on the hard wooden chair.

“Elizabeth Cady Stanton, herself. Why, I never.” Bertie’s eyes were bright. “Right here in Amesbury. Let’s go greet her after the meeting finishes.”

Murmurs of the name rose up all around us. My mother, an ardent suffragist in her own right, had gotten to know Elizabeth Stanton at the International Women’s Conference in the spring and had sent glowing tales of Elizabeth’s courage from Washington City.

“Be not afraid,” Elizabeth continued. “We are in the right and we shall not be intimidated. Please stand and join me in song.” She waited until all rose, then began,

Daughters of freedom arise in your might.
March to the watchwords Justice and Right.
The women’s voices singing the inspiring lyrics in unison raised goosebumps on my arms. I hummed along since I didn’t know the words.
Why will ye slumber? Wake, O wake. 
Lo, on your legions light doth break.
Sunder the fetters custom hath made. 
Come from the valley, hill and glade.

The song went on from there until the hall filled with applause.

“Come on.” Bertie tugged my arm as the clapping ended.

So, Dear Reader: Is thee also a suffragist? Does thee think we shall ever gain the vote? And what does thee know of my faith, the Religious Society of Friends? Remember to leave thy address for the postal system known as Email. Oh, and this book is available for pre-ordering wherever books are sold.

Maddie Day creates the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, this Macavity- and Agatha-nominated author writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction.

Maxwell is President of Sisters in Crime New England. She lives north of Boston with her beau and two cats, and blogs here, with the other Wicked Cozy Authors, and with the Midnight Ink Writers. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at her web site,


  1. Oooh this looks like another great one! Thank you :D

  2. I am indeed a suffragist but know very little of the faith. Looks like a great read.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. This is a great series and I can't wait to read this newest book in the series. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  4. "Turning the Tide" sounds like an amazing book. I would have loved to just continue reading-learning more about Rose Carroll and living her adventures through your wonderful book. Unfortunately, I've not had the opportunity to read any of the Quaker Midwife Mysteries series, but it's not from lack of desire to. Would be thrilled to at least get a glimpse into her story if I were fortunate enough to be selected. Thanks for the chance to win an ARC!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. I hsven’t Started this series yet. It looks like it’s time to start! This book sounds great! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  6. This book (and series) sound amazing. I would be thrilled to win a copy because I enjoy historical fiction and mysteries both. Thank you so much for the chance Edith. suemngirl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Love this series and looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Becky Prazak

  8. This book sounds lovely! Thank you so much for the chance to win. Congratulations on your nomination! Yes, Rose, I think what you are all fighting for is extremely important. Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  9. I have voted every election sice I was 21.I convinced my new husband of 47 years to vote after we married as he never had. Would love to win this book as I love historical fiction.

    1. Congratulations, Candy! You are the winner of the ARC. Please check your email.

  10. The hardships these women endured are appalling! Such dedication. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  11. My ancestors were not allowed to vote in the "old country" due to our religion and I promised my grandfather I would vote in every election. The right to vote is so important and I am grateful to these brave women!! Congratulations on your nomination and thank you for the chance to win an ARC of this book


  12. This sounds like an amazing book--we need to pay homage to the ladies that worked so hard and suffered so much for us to now have the vote.

  13. Congrats on your nomination! This is a great series and I would really like to read "Turning the Tide".

  14. I can hardly wait! . . . and from this intro, I feel a strong connection from our "Second Wave" feminism of my college days.
    "Women unite! Out of the shadows and into the light." The title is a good reminder that there are ebbs and flows in tides, and we may well need to keep working to move forward. <3

  15. I love reading about the suffragists!! Sounds like a great book!

  16. Congratulations, Candy Kennedy! You are the winner of the ARC. Please check your email. I wish I had a copy for everyone!

  17. These books sound so good.

  18. Sounds very interesting and I will have to read your new book. We have no local Quaker meeting here so reading about it helps me maintain some peace.

  19. I love this and your books too. Do you ever watch Murdock Mysteries? They had some shows on several of these subjects. Congrats to the winner

  20. Please check your email. I wish I had a copy for everyone!

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