Friday, March 22, 2013

Penner's Spotlight - Sandra D. Moore - U.S. - Maryland

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Penner's Spotlight

Penner: Sandra D. Moore of Pennsylvania

Location: Sharpsburg, Maryland
United States

One of the reasons I write historical romance is that I love conducting the research. For my May 2013 release, A Heartbeat Away, I traveled to Sharpsburg, Maryland, the setting for the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg, for you southerners). 

Sharpsburg is a very small town, unscathed by commercial development, a true gem of history frozen in time by the town's refusal to allow commercialism to mar what they have worked so hard to preserve. 

I was taken on a private tour by Bob Murphy of RCM History Tours (RCM Twitter). His prices are very reasonable and he accommodated my desire to walk some of the tour. I stayed at the snug and very clean Mary Hill House.  

Now for the pics...

Outside of the church. This is the church that Gerta Bumgartner would have attended if not for the battle raging on the top of South Mountain that Sunday.
The inside of the famous Dunker Church
Piper Farm was the model for the house neighboring Gerta’s fictional home. This farm became the headquarters for Confederates Longstreet and Hill during the battle.
Mumma Farm was the only farm burned up during the battle. The springhouse didn't burn and was my inspiration for Gerta’s spring house where the reader first encounters the injured Joe.
Roulette Farm--in my story, the Roulette's are escaping to the caves along the Potomac. Caves that are real, I might add.
Bloody Lane, called Hog Trough Lane before the battle
Burnside Bridge from the Confederate side. With only 300-400 soldiers holding off over 2K because they held the higher ground.
Antietam National Cemetery
Grove House, Lee's Headquarters in Sharpsburg during Confederate occupation
Do you see the shell stuck in the side of this house? Every house in Sharpsburg was used to shelter the wounded.
McClellan's command was centered at Pry House. Not open for tour at the time of my trip. :(
Uh, this wasn't part of the tour, but was part of the recovery. Nutter's Ice-Cream. 4 scoops for $2.95. I was sold!
 Have you visited a Civil War battlefield or historic site? If you could visit one historic site anywhere in the world, where would it be? Please join the conversation below in the comment section.

Sandra D. Moore resides in the rolling hills of Cumberland Valley, PA – a transplanted city girl and glad of it! She enjoys ferreting out little-known historical details and crafting a story around them.
Her new releases include Promise Brides (3-in-1 historical romances set in PA) of which two stories are ACFW Carol Award Finalists. In May 2013, A Heartbeat Away, Book 7 in Abingdon Press’s Quilts of Love series, releases.
Murder on the Ol’ Bunions released from Smashwords as an ebook in March 2012 followed by Polly Dent Loses Grip and for the first time ever, Your Goose is Cooked, the third and final book in the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series.

To learn more about Sandra and her cozy mysteries and historical romances, visit her website here, Twitter or Pinterest. 

When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Elizabeth "Beth" Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named "Joe", it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious good-bye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. 

Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test--but can betrayal be forgiven?


  1. Sandra, I love history and I love this post. I look forward to reading 'A Heartbeat Away.' It is so fascinating to be able to travel to the actual location where an historical fiction novel takes place. It makes it more personal. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  2. Sandra, greetings from another PA writer who loves researching historical sites for stories. Living in Phila. I'm surrounded by nearby historical places of interest. The one place I'd like to visit, however, is the battlefield on Normandy Beach. Visited airfields and other sites in U.K. for my research, but never got across the Chanel.

  3. I grew up in Manassas, VA, Pat--so I've been surrounded by history all my life! My father was an avid Civil War buff and I guess this apple didn't fall far from that tree. I love discovering little known facts and forming a story around them. For A Heartbeat Away, it all started with Lee's Special Order 191. Carole, you might find the conjecture surrounding SO 191 fascinating.

    And, Pat! Whoa, I'd love to visit the UK! I have always been fascinated by the history of Liverpool's port. My very first historical romance (stashed away) used a little bit of English history but, alas, I never got to England to verify much.

    Thanks for joining us, ladies!