Posts Tagged ‘Ann Wertz Garvin’

Looking for a good read? Here are two updates on published works of local authors:

On Maggie’s Watch by Ann Wertz Garvin

Ann lives in Stoughton and is a debut author from Berkley Penguin. Her novel On Maggie’s Watch came out Nov. 2010. You can get it here on Amazon: On Maggie’s Watch

Maggie Finley has just returned to her beloved Wisconsin hometown, quirky best friend, and eccentric mother. Life should be good, but her marriage to Martin is suffering under the strain of a recent family tragedy and Maggie’s feeling pressed for time. Before the birth of her baby she has to figure out how to fit her high-anxiety-self into a low-anxiety-life.

True to her can do attitude, Maggie hires a compelling handy-man, resurrects a defunct Neighborhood Watch and inadvertently discovers a potential threat to her house and home living just around the corner. Choosing to investigate, despite her best friend’s advice to keep her nose out of it…and despite the risk, Maggie sets her sites on discovering the stranger’s secret. As the mystery of the neighbor’s identity draws Maggie irresistibly in, her ordered life starts to unravel in surprising and hilarious ways.

Unexpectedly compelling and sparkling with wit and intelligence, this debut novel chronicles one woman’s quest for control over her surroundings, and the secrets and surprises that lie hidden in an ordinary suburban landscape.

Ann will be teaching at Write By the Lake in Madison, Plotting a novel agent’s won’t ignore http://www.dcs.wisc.edu/lsa/writing/wbtl.htm. For more information about “On Maggie’s Watch” and Ann visit her website http://www.annwertzgarvin.com/

Lawyer Lincoln in Transit to Freedom:
An Historical Nonfiction Novel by Alicia Connolly-Lohr

Alicia lives with her husband and two children in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. Her novel is available here on Amazon.com.

In 1837, Abraham Lincoln quarrels with his partner about an abolitionist murder case. Stuart blocks Lincoln but in 1839, Lincoln takes a slave case. While riding the judicial circuit, Bailey hires Lincoln to defend him. Cromwell, a pompous, St. Louis lawyer sues Bailey for not paying on the note Bailey signed when buying a slave girl in Illinois – a free state. At trial, Lincoln calls Nancee, the feisty slave girl, as a surprise witness. Sparks fly at trial in the tavern-turned-courtroom. The articulate, humorous Lincoln argues that Bailey’s contract is void, he owes nothing and the girl should go free. Fighting melancholy, Lincoln mentors his apprentice, Matthew to prepare for an appeal. The conflict intensifies at the Illinois Supreme Court for some grand oratory and a surprising ruling there in 1841. By 1847, Lincoln is a respected lawyer. Odd circumstances result in his representing General Matson, a Kentucky slave owner who seeks the return of his runaway slaves. Illinois Abolitionists, Ashmore and Dr. Rutherford harbor the pretty and meek mulatto, Jane Bryant, and her children. Matson has the slaves arrested and jailed but not before some armed defenders step in. The abolitionists sue, trying to win freedom for the slaves, while they linger in jail. Outside, opposing camps of Matson supporters and abolitionists threaten violence. The abolitionists’ lawyer, Mr. Ficklin, faces off with passion against Lincoln. Anthony Bryant is Matson’s Illinois farm overseer, a freeman and Jane’s husband. Anthony and Matson both testify. Visiting Jane in jail, she and Anthony scheme to fix things themselves. Lincoln argues the slaves fit the in-transit exception in Illinois law; slaves in-transit through Illinois remain slaves. Lincoln demonstrates his clever and folksy command of the courtroom. The slaves, the law and Lincoln all seem to be on trial and in transition. This book keeps the reader guessing right up to the very end about which side will win.

Reviewer  Joseph Truglio says of Lawyer Lincoln:

What exactly is a non-fiction novel? Is it a story that is told with only factual information?

This is a book that explores two rarely discussed events in Abraham Lincoln’s life. One could almost call them obscure. Both involved Lincoln defending slave-owners in court. The first story shows Lincoln at the beginning of his law career, and the second is when he was firmly entrenched in his partnership with William Herndon.

Both are well presented and very informative as to the events and attitudes of the day. We gain much insight into the tone of the era and the emerging expertise of Lincoln the lawyer.

We see him, even at the start of his career, to be strong-willed, inquisitive and willing to risk his future in the community for the sake of truth and justice. Lincoln’s emerging anti-slavery viewpoint is also presented.

This book is well written and to the point. I enjoyed the epilogue, which is one of my favorite sections of Civil War books. This work is a good start for those just beginning to study Lincoln and those who like to read about the more obscure events in his life.

Read the entire review at http://www.civilwarnews.com/reviews/2011br/april/lincoln-lohr-b041126.html

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