Reluctant to shed her riding trousers and fully submerse herself in her role as a growing woman, Jana Brady joins the Union army in the fight for her country. Hoping for Sweet Glory, she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a young cavalryman, eager to fight the Rebels, aided by Leanne Perham, another girl from town who has donned the Union blues. Disguised as Johnnie and Leander, Jana and Leanne form a close connection with other misfits in their unit, twelve-year-old Charlie, who's hidden his age to provide for his ma, and Irishman Keeley, who inspires men to abandon their inner conflicts and band together. Jana comes to greatly admire Keeley, who frequently needles Johnnie about the occasional appearance of feminine attributes.
While Jana enjoys the camaraderie within her unit, soldiering and nursing severely test her notions of glory in war. And the possibility of dying as a man hits home when she witnesses a man and his disguised bride die hand in hand on the battlefield. Jana determines to find a way home, with the blossoming incentive of renewing a relationship with Keeley once she is again living as a woman. But this possibility seems even more unlikely when Keeley is captured and Jana is hit by a bullet. Will she be able to rescue him from the Confederates' clutches? And will Keeley love her for her true self? Lisa Potocar masterfully interweaves a moving love story with a sweeping portrayal of the heartache of the Civil War and the courage of key figures in history.
'This book combines historical accuracy with romance and a suspenseful narrative that will keep readers hooked.'
Sweet Glory won First Place in the Young Adult category of the 2009 Maryland Writers' and SouthWest Writers' Novel Contests.
And now GLIAS followers, let's learn about Lisa Potocar:
DONNELL: Lisa, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. You’ve had some success with Sweet Glory: So, tell us briefly what you’ve learned since entering the arena of published author?
LISA: I’m honored to be your guest, Donnell! Thanks so much for hosting me.
The key thing I’ve learned is that, for me, it’s just as important to connect with my readers up close and personal as it is to have an online presence and social media platform. I took my marketing rep’s words to heart when he told me to identify the niches where enthusiasts of Civil War history hang out and then to get out there and hang with them. I trusted my instincts, which told me to do it with pizzazz. I created a brief presentation about “women who disguised themselves to fight as soldiers in the American Civil War” during which I encourage and hand out bookmarks for audience participation and even silliness. Four-foot Billy Bear, dressed in his authentic cavalry garb, accompanies me wherever I go, and I’m thrilled to say that we’ve been received with gusto. I’m having a ball—not to mention selling more of my books this way.
DONNELL: You combine young adult and one of the most divisive eras in our country’s existence. What made this era such a poignant era to write about, and why in the eyes of a young adult?
LISA: Hmm…a very “poignant” question, Donnell—LOL! In my opinion, there was never a greater hotbed in the history of the United States than that surrounding Civil-War times. From it abounds so many exciting human-interest stories set against a backdrop of battles and advances being made in communication, transportation, industry, medicine, the military, social reform, the beginnings of civil rights, etc.—the perfect ingredients for an explosive story to bust through today’s vast social stimulation and grab a teen’s attention.
DONNELL: When not writing, where will we find you?
LISA: Mostly on a mountain top, enjoying the views of the lakes and forests below and the company of my hubby, two cuddly keeshonds, and a great big hunkin’ sammich! I just love being in the outdoors—hiking, biking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing—combine these with a picnic and I’m a happy camper. Though, I’m not much on gardening. I could kill a cactus. No lie! I killed three, much to my green-thumb granny’s disbelief. I’m happy to say no one entrusts me with their plants, but they do entrust me with their pets. I love animals—especially dogs. And, fortunate for me, you can’t really kill a pet from overwatering or overfeeding… can you?
DONNELL: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
LISA: UGH! Thanks for reminding me, Donnell. I had company for dinner last night, and I’ve been struggling ever since I finished a bowl of raisin bran w/milk & banana, only a few minutes ago, to gnaw on some of the yummy leftovers in the refrig. It’s going to be harder to restrain myself after I recite the menu (pardon the drool down the page):
Appetizers: Rice-stuffed grape leaves; blue corn chips w/homemade salsa.
Entrée: Pork tenderloins rubbed w/Dijon mustard, rolled in Panko crumbs seasoned w/rosemary and parsley, & the slices topped w/French’s cheesy fried onions; fresh green beans in lemon butter sauce & sprinkled w/sesame seeds; baby spinach & mushroom salad tossed in hot mustard dressing; mashed potato casserole w/leeks, broccoli, & melted crumbly blue cheese sauce; homemade Challah slices spread w/artichokes and asiago & parmesan cheeses. All complemented by Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dessert: Pumpkin cheesecake.
Are you getting that I love food yet?
DONNELL: I'm getting the hint, and I'm getting hungry. ;) High heels, tennis shoes, hiking boots, or other?
LISA: I’m sure you’ve already guessed—hiking boots all the way! Every so often, I force my feet (kicking and screaming) into pumps, though with low, chunky heels. You don’t want to see me in high heels—picture a newborn foal on its feet for the first time. Ahhh…you get it.
DONNELL: What is something that people don’t know about you, but you wish they could know?
LISA: I love silly! Only my hubby glimpses my true acts of silliness, which would be lost to most audiences and embarrassing for me. Though, my twin sister also appreciates the depth of my silliness.
DONNELL: What inspires you?
LISA: Laughter! I love to laugh, and I love to make people laugh; though, I’m not much of a comedienne. Usually, the moment has just passed within seconds when a funny retort comes to mind.
DONNELL: What is the number one thing you want readers to take away from your books?
LISA: That they’ve been thoroughly entertained while they’ve learned something new and amazing about the historical period.
DONNELL: What is the most unusual thing you have in your closet?
LISA: An old hat box. It has no hat in it ‘cause I don’t wear them. Are you wondering why I have it then? Drum roll, please! Sorry to disappoint, it stores nothing exotic or exciting, just all of the “occasion” cards my hubby ever gave me from our courtin’ years up to now. I’m running out of room, though. SIGH. Where does the time go? Anyhow, the “hat’s out of the box” (pardon the poor pun…I told you I was no comedienne): now you know I’m wicked sentimental too.
DONNELL (HERE MAY BE A HARD QUESTION FOR YOU.) If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
LISA: Not a hard question at all! I’ll bet you think I’m going to say Clara Barton or some Civil War hero/heroine. Nope! My answer will definitely prove that I’m genuinely a sappy sentimentalist. I wish I could go back in time and know my husband from when we were in our cribs.Lovely answers, Lisa: NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: TIME TO ASK READERS A QUESTION.
If you don’t mind, Donnell, I’d love to leap-frog off of your question by asking readers: What’s your favorite piece of history (worldwide) and who would you want to meet from that time?
About Lisa Potocar:
Lisa Potocar lives in Upstate New York with her husband and two cuddly keeshonds. Her passion for writing and research stems from her former work in health care administration and as a professor. When not tracking some morsel of history to shape into a story, she is a tomboy at heart who loves to hike and bike and has traveled the world to do it.
Links where to find her:
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