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Randall Homestead

Chris Bowman as Pvt. Canfield

Jerry Chesser and Charles Kizer

Lydia Hawke  presents:

PeRFECT DISGUISE
Soon to be a movie!
Excerpt
Chapter One

Southeast of Atlanta and South of Covington, Georgia July 29, 1864, during Siege of Atlanta

Protected by darkness, Willa Randall knelt by the stream and washed the dried blood and tears off her face. The hem of her skirt trailed in the water but that didn’t matter because she had to discard the dress anyway. She rinsed the taste of blood out of her mouth; even the silt-laden water was an improvement. Feeling cleaner, she blotted her split lips and wiped her hands with a dry patch of skirt, blew her nose, then stood and picked her way through the underbrush to where she had tethered her mare.

She ran her hand down the saddle, reassuring herself that the shotgun was still strapped on. Past the weapon, close to Annie Laurie’s rump, she found the hastily tied sewing kit. It was one of the few possessions she had managed to snatch as she fled. She whispered gentling talk to Annie and thrust her hand inside the bag, gripped the scissors and pulled them out.

She’d often trimmed her own hair but had never cut it short, certainly not in the dark without a looking glass. But it had to be done, and done immediately, so she would be prepared when she caught up with the soldiers. Although she had left Pa and Edgar senseless, she still feared they would come looking for her. Telling herself they couldn’t possibly follow her so soon, she nonetheless peered into the dark to make sure she really was alone. She took off the slouch hat and let her hair fall about her shoulders. Her scissor hand trembled as she lifted up each lock and cut it close to her head, trying to shape it in a neat boyish pattern. She dropped the clumps of hair to the ground and kicked leaves and dirt over them. She must make sure that come daylight, the sun wouldn’t shine on the evidence of her plan. Freed from the bulk of her hair, the hat fit looser on her head.

She located the shirt, trousers, old chemise and boots she had tied onto the saddle. Quickly she stripped off her dress and arranged the chemise in a tight fit around her chest, flattening her breasts. She threw on her brother’s clothes and inhaled deeply, wishing she could catch his scent or something of his being within the hug of denim and homespun, but the only place he still existed for her was in her memory. She didn’t fill his clothes, but she figured that wouldn’t matter because most people wore what they could get their hands on these days, whether it fit or not.

She needed a man's name. It occurred to her that "Will" ought to be familiar enough for her ears to lend a quick response. Barber seemed fitting for a last name, the one that had occurred to her as she cut her hair. She said her man's name out loud. "Will Barber." It sounded all right, a name she could live with. She repeated it louder, trying to deepen her voice, and that took some of the shakiness out of it. Her natural voice didn’t sound masculine enough, another worry.

Willa rolled the dress into a bundle and mashed it down as small as she could. She hid it under a bush, praying her hand didn’t scare up a snake. She traded her shoes for the boots Bobby had grown out of and hid hers. She listened again for sounds of pursuit.

The woods were quiet except for small hushed noises and the occasional night bird. Willa untied Annie from the branch, mounted, and continued her own pursuit of the soldiers who had come foraging to her home that afternoon.


Reviews
...you'll want to read over and over

This book is written in the same style as Ashes in the Wind and Devil on Horseback. Although this is a work of fiction, it is quite obvious Ms. Hawke has done her historical homework in that the characters' mannerisms and ideals were the perfect 1860's era. The storyline in this book will help those who are not normally history buffs to understand what trials and tribulations our ancestors faced during this very turbulent time in our nation's history. The wholesome values, camaraderie and deep sense of loss that were felt by a people torn apart by the War Between the States was brought to the fore in her novel. Ms. Hawke also demonstrates that conflict brings out very human responses in people. Sometimes those who are basically evil become even more so with a little power but those that are basically good never falter and always strive to help others; those from their hometowns that formed up as companies to fight the war as well as those weaker and helpless individuals caught up in the fray. This is a quick read but one that you'll want to pick up and read over and over, especially if you re-enact as it will give you some assistance in perfecting your period persona.

By Lorraine Niepert, Florida Reenactors Online


Terrific...
There is absolutely no way Willa Randall can stay around and marry Major Edgar Dodds.  Life with him would be filled with beatings and worse.  But if her drunken father has his way, that is exactly the fate that awaits her.  Even though the Civil War has already taken the life of her brother, Willa saddles up her horse and sets out to find the cavalry troop that had been by her father’s house.  All she has to do is convince the officer in charge that she is a willing recruit. While she is terrified of being a soldier, anything is preferable and safer than marrying the abusive major.

Captain Jefferson Spencer is quite certain the young beat-up boy standing in front of him is underage.  But he claims he can read and write, and Jeff is in need of an aide.  Then Will Barber shows he can also cook, and Jeff knows he’ll let the kid stay.  He just hopes Barber doesn’t get himself killed.  There is something about him that draws out Jeff’s protectiveness; a feeling he could easily do without.  Caring about people just causes pain and hurt.

Lydia Hawke has created another terrific Civil War novel with her second book, PERFECT DISGUISE.  Filled with tense excitement, tender moments, and a plot line that moves right along at a fast clip, this latest book by this delightful author is a terrific read.

4 ½ stars from Brooke Wills at Romance Junkies


A Perfect Adventure
Set in Civil War Era Georgia during the Siege of Atlanta, Lydia Hawke’s historical romance, Perfect Disguise, is a perfect blend of high adventure and tender romance, crammed with authentic historical details that keep the reader steadily involved in the action.

In 1864, Willa Randall flees from her brutal guardian-fiance Edgar Dodds, dons her dead brother’s clothing, changes her name to Will Barber, and joins a Confederate Cavalry unit led by Captain Jefferson Spencer. After this dramatic beginning, the action never slows down.

Unschooled in military matters, pretending to be a boy, Willa overcomes one problem, only to find another one waiting to ambush her on the path ahead. All the while, Edgar Dodds is on her trail, closing in and more dangerous than the Yankee bullets and sabers; and Willa lives in fear that one of her fellow cavalrymen will see through her disguise.

Ms. Hawke gives us a vibrant depiction of army life, with all its tedium, hardships, and humor, together with the hazards of its battles and the reality of death. We share Willa’s sorrows and joys and narrow escapes. We see her knocking weevils from her food, swimming in her clothing to keep her secret hidden, killing the enemy to protect her Captain, and in an especially heartbreaking passage, having to shoot Annie Laurie, the horse she considers her last friend, when Annie breaks her leg.

Graphic details of life and death in battle are interspersed with poignant passages that trace the growing love between Willa and Captain Spencer, two wounded people who seem more afraid of getting hurt again than they are of the treacherous Yankees.

So cleverly has Ms. Hawke suspended disbelief that by the end of Perfect Disguise the reader will believe that once a young female rode with the Confederate Cavalry because life gave her no other choice, and that she made a contribution to the Cause, while striving to win the heart of her dashing captain. Perfect Disguise is a definite Five Star book.

Review by Dorothy Bodoin, Author


Excitement!
Lydia Hawke is at it again. Beware! If you start to read Perfect Disguise at bedtime, you will be reading all night. You won’t be able to put it down. Perfect Disguise combines the excitement of an action novel with the poignancy of a romance.

Like her previous epic, Firetrail, this book plunges you into the latter days of the Civil War. This time Ms. Hawke tosses you right into the desperate Southern attempt to stop Sherman before Atlanta falls. Her characters and plot rival Gone With the Wind but there are differences. Willa is not your typical southern belle. Oh, no. No keeping the home fires burning for this gal. She gets right into the heart of the action. She runs away and joins a unit of Wheeler’s Calvary. Of course she needs to pass for a boy and endure the rough camp life. That doesn’t faze this heroine. What does cause her a lot of grief is that she falls in love with her dashing but already heartbroken captain.

Add to the mix, a vicious killer intent on making Willa his bride no matter who he has to murder to do it, a group of unique Rebel soldiers, one fighting rooster, a spirited horse and enough Yankee troops to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

Things really heat up when the virile captain begins having romantic thoughts about his new aide, “Will,” you can imagine his discomfort. Or maybe you can’t. You’ll just have to read this one of a kind book.

Kathleen Walls, author of Last Step, Georgia's Ghostly Getaways, Kudzu, Man Hunt - The Eric Rudolph Story and Finding Florida's Phantoms


Another Winner
Lydia Hawke has penned another winner with Perfect Disguise. Her three dimensional characters, vivid Civil War setting and intricate plot will fill a voracious reader's need for entertainment. The developing romance between Willa and Jeff will tug at your heart strings in hope of the elusive happy ending.

Carol McPhee- author


Above photo by Wes Mayhle

Firetrail: The Movie
Get your own DVD!(Includes S & H)

View video clip
View trailer

Now showing



Perfect Disguise
Order your own DVD, which will be shipped to you right away.
 
Movie trailer

For further information about Firetrail the Movie and the upcoming Perfect Disguise, contact Forbesfilm.

 


Heather Clark will play Willa Randall.

Tripp Courtney as Captain Jefferson Spencer.


Dave Long as Major Edgar Dodds


For further information about
Perfect Disguise: The Movie
contact Forbesfilm.


Other Places

Suspense Fiction by
Lydia C. Filzen

 Silent Witness
Agility Suspense Unleashed


Nonfiction articles by Lydia Filzen frequently appear in:

Civil War News

Clay Today Newspaper

American Roads Travel Ezine


  

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