One of the banners held by the Silent Sentinels.

by @ramonaflightner

On November 14, 1917, the suffragists picketing outside the White House, forming part of the Silent Sentinel brigade, were arrested and sent to the Occoquan Work House in Virginia. That evening became known as the “Night Of Terror” among the suffragists working with Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party (NWP). According to many accounts, after their arrival at Occoquan, the women were grabbed, dragged, choked, and beaten as they were brought to their cells. Lucy Burns had her arms manacled in handcuffs over her head the entire night, one woman was knocked unconscious, and another suffered a heart attack. If you’ve read Resilient Love, you’ve read about the treatment the women experienced when they were arrested for peacefully picketing in front of the White House. 

During their weeks-long imprisonment, many of the suffragists joined a hunger strike. These women were separated from their fellow suffragists and placed in solitary confinement. Guards attempted to entice them to eat by cooking foods such as bacon around the clock, hoping the scent of cooking food would cause them to break their strike. Many of the women on hunger strike suffered forced feedings. 

A few weeks after they were imprisoned, the women were released from jail, as many were concerned that previously healthy women were on the verge of death. After their release, President Wilson made a formal announcement in January of 1918 in favor of universal enfranchisement, and many credited his change of position to the work of the Silent Sentinels. 

While researching the suffrage movement, I traveled to Washington, D.C. Outside the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, the historic home of the NWP, there are the only remaining concrete steps from the Occoquan Work House. Below are a few photos I took outside the Women’s Equality National Monument.

Occoquan Work House Steps

When I had finished my research, and it was time to write, I found these to be the hardest scenes I have ever written. Delving into the treatment my characters suffered was a challenge, and describing what they experienced was extremely difficult. I had to rewrite those scenes numerous times, adding layers of details as I slowly built in the descriptions of what occurred.

For those of you who find the treatment of the women unimaginable, this really did happen in the U.S. 100 years ago and it was for something as fundamental as asking for the right to vote. A book I have loved reading for research is: A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot by Mary Walton. Chapter sixteen is about the Night Of Terror. 

As I did my research, I marveled at the strength of conviction of the women who were Silent Sentinels, and their determination to their cause. And I give thanks, every day, for what they did to ensure I have the right to vote.

 

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

I’m excited to share Resilient Love (Banished Saga, Book 7) with you!

This was a challenging book for me to write due to the historical events that occurred during the time of the book and how they affected the characters. I hope you enjoy it, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

It is available on all major platforms and here are the links:

Amazon

Kobo

i-Books

Nook

Google Play

Happy Reading!

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

I’ve been home in Montana for over a year and very busy with writing. I’m excited to announce that Resilient Love (Banished Saga, Book 7) will release on September 26, 2017.

Obstinate

In her sense of right and wrong, Zylphia Goff is a suffragist leader in 1917 Washington, DC. Her unwavering promotion of her cause provokes disharmony, dissension, and doubt, even among her most ardent supporters. Will her husband, Teddy, respect her strident beliefs that jeopardize their future?

Courageous

In the face of one of mining’s greatest tragedies in Butte, Montana, Patrick Sullivan struggles to aid the miners while attempting to shatter his wife’s icy reserve. When a ghost from his past returns to threaten his family and his future, Patrick must confront his fears. Will he defend his family from this threat and rekindle his wife’s love?

Steadfast

In his love for his wife, Morgan Wheeler learns the importance of patience. After Parthena is jailed after she flees to join Zylphia in DC, Morgan fights to ensure her freedom. Will Parthena come to treasure his love or will she cling to her illusions about Lucas Russell?

Discover, as they confront daily conflicts and national tragedies, that a resilient love is essential for a lasting love.

You can preorder at:

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

i-Books

While I remain busy at work on Book 8 in the series, I have also begun writing another series. Books one and two are in the editing process. I am excited to share them with you in Spring 2018!

Happy Reading!

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Goodbye, Boston

by Ramona Flightner

@ramonaflightner

As I stole a few moments to rest before the movers arrived, I catalogued the sounds of my neighborhood. The realization that this would be the last time I’d be in my home in Boston slowly permeated my drowsy consciousness. I smiled as the mockingbird sang, as though gifting me with a goodbye serenade. I listened to the soft “whir” of the jet engines in nearby Logan airport and imagined the travelers excited for their upcoming travels. I heard my neighbor’s footsteps on the stairs as she descended to retrieve her newspaper. I grimaced as a car passed with the bass blaring “boom-boom-boom”, my china no longer rattling as it was packed away in boxes. I knew that in a not too distant day in the future, these would be memories I’d retrieve and recall, some with more fondness than they merited.

Soon, I was too busy talking with the movers, laughing, battling nerves, and bustling around to ensure that the correct items were packed, to notice anything but the chaos occurring in my condo. The sounds of my neighborhood faded into the background.

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Within a few hours, my house was packed up, cleaned, and I was ready to leave and never return. The word surreal doesn’t even suffice for how I was feeling. As I drove out of Boston, I kept staring at the familiar buildings, and I failed to have the understanding that I wouldn’t be back in a few days or weeks. I continue with the sense I’m on vacation rather than starting a new chapter in my life.

Our first stop was Tanglewood, and we heard a wonderful concert with Joshua Bell performing. I had thought I was too tired to attend, but thankfully I found the energy to attend.

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After a drive to Buffalo, we had a “day of rest” where we traveled around the Lake Chautauqua area, and then down to Limestone, NY where my great-grandmother was from and where she is buried. It was a gorgeous day, and I didn’t have to drive, so it was restful.

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The beautiful hotel at the Chautauqua Institute.

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A view from the porch (they had great rocking chairs), toward Lake Chautauqua.

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A poster advertising their book club. Should I join?

Thus, as you can see, my move to Montana is going well, and we are enjoying the journey so far. (I’m traveling with my aunt). If you’d like to follow along with my journey west, I’m posting pictures daily on Instagram. It’s the first time I’ve really used it and I find I really love it! http://www.instagram.com/rflightner/

I’ll try to blog again soon about the journey.

COVER REVEAL FOR UNDAUNTED LOVE!!

I’m very excited to share with you the cover and back cover copy for Undaunted Love today. Let me know what you think! Look for Undaunted Love in May from all major retailers.

Broken:

In spirit by the death of her daughter and by disillusionment with her marriage, Savannah Montgomery must find the strength to rediscover her sense of self-worth. Living in a mansion in Boston’s Back Bay, surrounded by maids, she’s learned wealth alone will not bring happiness. Submerged in a deep depression, a chance encounter brings friendship into her life. Will her friend’s faith in her embolden her to embrace a newly envisioned future?

Disillusioned:

By his actions in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, Jeremy McLeod believes he will continue to battle the darkness alone. Returning home to Boston’s North End, wounded in body and spirit, he consigns himself to a solitary life. Working in his brother’s workshop brings much needed solace, but will it be enough?

Dedicated:

To forging a life with her husband Gabriel, in Montana, Clarissa McLeod is determined to fulfill her role as wife. When actions from her past continue to haunt her present and threaten her future, will Clarissa trust in her husband’s love and surmount her deepest fears?

Undaunted Love follows the McLeod, Sullivan, and Russell families as they struggle against injustice, persevere against loss and betrayal, and learn that the strongest bonds are the ones forged by loyalty and love.

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