Welcome to the next installment of The Backcountry Brides settings, and welcome to Jennifer!
|Annis Shunk, b. 1832|
Deep in the mountains of western North Carolina is an area where the sun’s rays only reach the ground when it is directly overhead during the middle of the day. The Cherokee Indians called this land Nantahala, which means “land of the noonday sun.” This is where I set my Backcountry Brides novella, Heart of Nantahala, in 1757. The Cherokee built a town in Nantahala and called it Aquone, or “by the river.” It consisted of a church, a school, a post office, and a couple of cemeteries. Very little is known of the people in Aquone, as it now lies beneath Nantahala Lake, a man-made lake built in 1942 for electrical power.
|Bennie Thomas Hudson, left|
The Cherokee have always fascinated me, as I can only imagine what it must have been like to be forcibly removed from their homes. What must they have endured while hiding out in the mountains to stay here in North Carolina? I believe they were strong-willed, determined, and loyal to each other. If it is true what my great-grandfather told us, that his mother was full-blooded Cherokee, I hope I have inherited that inner strength from my ancestors.
Her debut novel, Highland Blessings, won the Holt Medallion Award for Best First Book and she has had reviews in USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly & the Library Journal. Jennifer’s work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, RT Book Reviews, The Military Trader and USAir Magazine. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Communications/Journalism. When she isn’t writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, visiting historical sites, horseback riding, cycling, long walks, genealogy and reading.