I’m delighted to welcome Lindsey S. Fera to the blog with an excerpt from her new book, Muskets and Masquerades HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

I’m delighted to welcome Lindsey S. Fera to the blog with an excerpt from her new book, Muskets and Masquerades.

His throat thick with melancholy, Jack leaned against an old cherry tree. It had been months since he allowed himself to feel sorrow, to remember the pain endured aboard HMS Lively. The laudanum had numbed everything, but was no longer a part of his life, thanks to Quinnapin, and five grueling days of sickness and agony. Now, he must relearn to feel. 

The cherry tree’s welcoming shade reminded him of the Howletts’ ancient oak. Perhaps Mary and Henry occupied that space this very moment, laughing and climbing the tree’s thick, wide branches. Hopefully they did, for now with a proclamation of independence, war was certain to persist, and perhaps rage on for years to come. These will not be easy times. 

Mr. Greeves, Hancock’s assistant, approached with steadfast step. “Mr. Perkins—you’re required, sir.” 

Jack followed the assistant and reentered the stuffy meetinghouse. 

“There he is, and looking a bit flushed, I must say,” John Adams said with a nod of approval. “The color in your cheeks does improve your complexion. We were quite astounded when first we saw you, looking so thin and pale.” Adams regarded Jefferson. “I’ve known this lad since he graduated Harvard and became my law apprentice. Indeed, he learned well; we’re now partners.” 

“And I’m grateful to you, sir,” Jack replied. “My imprisonment upon HMS Lively did me quite the disservice, but I’m recovering well. My leg grows stronger each day.”

“So I’ve heard, Mr. Perkins,” Jefferson remarked. “We’re right heartily glad for your return to Congress. Pray, what do you think of the declaration?” 

Jack beamed. “’Tis a marvel, sir. Better written than any good man here could’ve done—and each gentleman present is more than capable of conjuring such profound sentiments, but to put it to writing is quite the task. ’Tis been an honor to be part of such a moment, sir.”

“And your moment will come, too, Mr. Perkins. We still hope to court France. They would prove a most powerful ally,” Adams added. 

Father rested a hand on Jack’s shoulder. “I couldn’t have said it better, Mr. Jefferson. I’m most pleased by your fine, diligent work. Have we each signed the parchment yet?” 

John Adams eyed the meetinghouse door. “We’re awaiting Dr. Franklin. He went to the necessary.” 

As Adams finished speaking, the meetinghouse door opened, and in stepped Dr. Franklin. A glint of sunlight reflected off his large patch of receding hairline, which yielded to long, greying hair. Franklin peered at the room from over the edge of round spectacles. “Shall we sign again, gentlemen?” 

The men clamored about the room, surrounding Mr. Hancock at his desk. Jack joined his father and John Adams. He’d met Mr. Hancock several times when living in Boston. It had been at Hancock’s grand manor that George was bequeathed a sum of money from an old life insurance policy held by George’s natural father, Captain Bixby; Bixby had been contracted by Hancock’s late uncle. A night I’ll never forget; and I’m certain, neither will George. The annual sum had allowed his cousin to purchase the Black Water Inn in Portsmouth. 

Mr. Hancock dipped a white quill into the inkwell and scraped off the excess black ink. He scratched a flamboyant signature, quite largely, onto the parchment. “Is it substantial enough to match the one sent to King George?” 

The gentlemen laughed, and each took their turn signing the page. When it came to Jack, he hesitated, and met the eyes of those in the room. 

“Gentlemen, I wish to speak on things I’ve contemplated since the creation of this document.” 

“Go on, Perkins,” Franklin said, though a few others, Congressmen from the southern colonies, groaned.  

“’Tis a privilege to sign such a document, but ’twas equally an honor to fight. I was there at Concord, and likewise present at Bunker Hill. I stand before you today, gentlemen, not as a vessel of Congress, quick to sign my name, but as a militiaman who fought the British on each of those fateful days. The people of Massachusetts have been fighting since 1770.” Jack’s throat clogged, but he composed himself. “’Tis been six long years for the people of Massachusetts, and I pray the rest of these alleged united states partake in the fight that has solely been ours. New-England has long been the head of Dr. Franklin’s famed serpent, and I’m overjoyed to see the other colonies join with us as the body.” 

Jack dipped the quill in ink and signed his name. “This is for each man who remains on the front lines of battle, each man who has fought, and each man whose injury or death has been the cost of this document. This is for Bunker Hill.” Though he spoke the word man, he envisioned Annalisa, the woman who fought and survived Bunker Hill, the woman who’d traveled with him in the name of Congress and had lost her life. For Annalisa, he signed. 

The gentlemen clapped. 

“Hear, hear, Perkins.”


Adams rapped his cane. “For Bunker Hill.” 

Mr. Hancock nodded. “For Bunker Hill, Mr. Perkins.” 

When the last signature was upon the parchment, Jack addressed Congress once more. “Now, we must all hang together, gentlemen.”

Dr. Franklin chuckled, landing a hand upon Jack’s shoulder. “Indeed, young Mr. Perkins, we must all hang together, for if we do not, we’ll all hang separately.” 


Here’s the blurb

Jack and Annalisa are married only five months when, enroute to France, a shipwreck separates them. On different shores, each believes the other dead. But when Annalisa learns Jack is alive, she returns to America and discovers much has changed. After a betrayal, she flees town as her alter ego, Benjamin Cavendish, and joins the Continental Army.

Unbeknownst to Annalisa, Jack has also joined the Continentals, harboring shameful secrets from his days in mourning. Against the backdrop of war with Britain, façades mount between Jack and Annalisa, and the merry minuet of their adolescence dissolves into a masquerade of deceit, one which threatens to part them forever.

Buy Links:

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Meet the author

LINDSEY S. FERA is a born and bred New Englander, hailing from the North Shore of Boston. As a member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets & Minuets, a planned trilogy. 

When she’s not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she’s nursing patients back to health. Muskets & Masquerades is her sophomore novel.

Connect with Lindsey


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Follow the Muskets and Masquerades blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Check out Lindsey’s earlier appearance on the blog.

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Lindsey S Fera to the blog with her new book, Muskets and Minuets

Today, I’m pleased to share an excerpt from Lindsey S Fera’s latest book, Muskets and Minuets.


They danced the reel, and Abigail with George. For the second, Annalisa paired with Quinnapin, and for the third, Ezra Kimball. 

When the cotillion ended, Annalisa scanned the set for Jack. 

He stood across from Jane.

Forlorn, she turned away. Perhaps she would not dance with him after all. Jane, at seventeen, had been formally educated in Salem, been out for the past two years, and was now ripe for courting. It was no surprise Jack favored her. 

And thank God it isn’t Oliver. 

But Annalisa could hardly shake the bitter sting of disappointment, and an opportunity lost. 

She slipped away from the set of dancers and wandered toward the common’s edge. Near a large boulder—the Common Rock, as it was known in town—Annalisa sprawled upon the cool, damp grass and lifted her face to the sky. The heavens glittered with a million tiny stars, and the yellow glow of lightning bugs hovered over the field in a thousand flickering lights. The brisk evening air, full of dew and lilac, set her with peaceful ease. 

Annalisa reached into her pocket and removed Jack’s linen handkerchief. Holding it to her nose, she sniffed his amber perfume and closed her eyes. She imagined his hands upon her as they twirled beneath the night sky. 

“Miss Annalisa, there you are.” Jack’s voice interrupted her fantasy. 

Startled, she peered up at him. 

“They’ve done the last dance already. I apologize. I’m afraid we’ll have to dance next year.” 

Flowers of Edinburgh played one final time in the distance. Amidst the fireflies and sparkling skies, all she noticed were his eyes, glassy from too much ale. She replaced the handkerchief into her pocket. 

“Sir, that is foul news indeed.” She sat up. “I’ve never seen so many lightning bugs.” 

Jack peered about. “I’ve not seen anything like it myself. Topsfield is agreeable.” 

“’Tis home.” She sighed, ready to lift from the ground. “I suppose I should find my parents.” 

Jack assumed a recumbent position beside her on the grass. “Just a moment more—to atone for missing our dance.” He held his hat to his chest and looked into her eyes. “Nights like these are rare.” 

“You’re right, Mr. Perkins.” 

“Call me Jack.” He paused and licked his bottom lip. “Annalisa.”

The impropriety of hearing him utter only her Christian name stole her breath. Giddy, she lay back, and together they watched the stars. 

“Adams keeps me too busy. I rarely have the chance to star-gaze in Boston.”

“George and I used to lie out in the western field for hours, watching for shooting stars. Quinn tells us to beware the Puk-wudjies in the woods late at night. I hardly believe in ghost stories, but I’m curious of his tales.” 

“Good old Quinn. Wampanoag lore is fascinating, though. After he told me about Puk-wudjies I thought I saw one in Cambridge. Turns out it had been the ale I’d been drinking!” Jack laughed. “I wish I had someone like George growing up. Your brother loves you very much. He spoke of you countless times when he stayed with us.” He paused. “I felt as though I already knew you before we met.” 

“I felt the same about you. George wrote of you in nearly every one of his letters.” She ground her teeth, hating herself for having harbored ill feelings toward him. “You must be a good man if he had only good things to say.” 

From the corner of her eye, she caught him staring. She turned and smiled.

“I’ve never known a lady so willing to lie in the grass like this.”

“I’m no ordinary lady.” 

Jack’s cheeks dimpled. “I can see that.” 

This is most inconvenientEvery girl in town holds a dalliance for Jack, including Jane

She bit her lip, wishing she weren’t on that long list herself, especially when her own sister fancied him.  

“Annalisa.” Jane’s voice struck like lightning. “Papa and Mamma are waiting.” 

Jack sprung up and held out his hand to her. Annalisa grasped it and scrambled to her feet. 

“Mr. Perkins.” Jane gave a brief curtsy. 

Jack offered her his arm. “Miss Howlett, ’tis always a pleasure.” 

Annalisa trailed behind them until they met with George, his eyes glassy and frown upturned. He dashed to her side and wrapped an arm over her. 

“’Tis getting cool, Little One.” George’s breath smelled of stale cider. 

She eased against him and relaxed her shoulders. “Tomorrow, let me show you how well I’ve been shooting. You owe me a lesson with Bixby.” 

Her brother guffawed and stumbled as they walked. “I like the sound of that.” 

In front of her, Jane held Jack’s arm. They beamed at one another, impervious to Annalisa and George behind them. 

Annalisa squeezed George’s hand. “I’ve still much to learn.”

And much to forget. 

She pulled Jack’s handkerchief from her pocket, crumpled it into a ball, and dropped it onto the common.  

Here’s the blurb:

Love. Politics. War.

Amidst mounting tensions between the British crown and the American colonists of Boston, Annalisa Howlett struggles with her identity and purpose as a woman. Rather than concern herself with proper womanly duties, like learning to dance a minuet or chasing after the eligible and charming Jack Perkins, Annalisa prefers the company of her brother, George, and her beloved musket, Bixby. She intends to join the rebellion, but as complications in her personal life intensify, and the colonies inch closer to war with England, everything Annalisa thought about her world and womanhood are transformed forever.

Join Annalisa on her journey to discover what it truly means to be a woman in the 18th century, all set against the backdrop of some of the most pivotal moments in American history.

Trigger Warnings:

Violence and battle scenes, sexual assault, mild sexual content, and profanity. 

Buy Links:

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU

Meet the author 

A born and bred New Englander, Lindsey hails from the North Shore of Boston. A member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets and Minuets. When she’s not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she’s nursing patients back to health in the ICU.

Connect with Lindsey


InstagramAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Muskets and Minuets blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club.