July 1776

From Glitternight.com

From Glitternight.com

On the 4th of July, 1776, a group of colonists signed and published a declaration of their independence from English rule.

This was the first time (and the last time), that an English colony declared, in writing, its independence without a bloody battle beforehand. The bloody battles followed.

Among the signers of this declaration were eighteen men who were of Welsh heritage (some sources say fully half the signers, that is 28). In their and their forefathers’ country, though many battles were fought over hundreds of years, no independence or meaningful declaration of independence was forthcoming.

Even now, two hundred and thirty-eight years after Welsh colonists on the North American continent had thrown off the bitterness of English domination, their distant relations in their home country are still under the thumb of a foreign monarch.

From Rainbowresource.com

From Rainbowresource.com

Is it any wonder that the United States of America is so beloved by the Welsh? My ancestors and living cousins have a vested interest in the country of my birth. My Welsh and American heritage are the consequences of their determination to change their lives, some of whom arrived as indentured servants and destitute, with hope as their only treasure.

Though none of my ancestors were among the signers of whom I am aware…, I thank Button Gwinnett, Joseph Hewes, George Wythe, John Penn, Lewis Morris, William Floyd, Francis Lewis, Caesar Rodney, Francis Hopkinson, William Ellery, John Adams, William Williams, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Stephan Hopkins, George Ross, Robert Morris (who was the foremost financer of the War of Independence), George Clymer among all the other fifty-six signers whose bravery and foresight enabled us to enjoy the fruits of their hope for the future.

Sources for this article: The Welsh Americans, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Idaho Welsh Society, Declaration Image, Signers Image

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My Dark Rose – Cynthia Owens | An Excerpt

My Dark RoseThe Sally Malone, Black ‘47
On the Atlantic Ocean

They slid into the water with scarcely a sound.

Dary Greely clung to his father’s hand, watching as the bodies, clad in little more than rags, were tossed over the side of the ship. The children first: his little brother and two sisters. Then Mrs. Morrissey, his new friend Declan’s ma. Shane MacDermott’s da, and the twins’ ma and their granny.

His ma’s thin fingers bit into his shoulder. She was sobbing into a threadbare handkerchief, her eyes red and swollen from crying. He looked up at her, then at Da. A shudder ran through him that had nothing to do with the cold wind blowing in from the sea.

Da’s eyes were dead. Their bright green was dimmed with sorrow. His dark-red hair blew across his face, but he made no move to shove it back with his big, callused workman’s hand. He stared out to sea, a muscle in his jaw jerking rhythmically.

Dary swallowed hard, glancing around him. He saw Shane, clutching his wee brother’s hand, one arm about his ma’s shoulders as she tried to soothe the fussy gossoon in her arms. Kieran and Cathal Donnelly stood close together, drawing silent comfort from each other as tears ran down their da’s face. Declan, self-controlled as always, stared into the water, his face full of sorrow, tears in his eyes that he refused to shed.

When the last victim of the ship’s fever sank to the bottom of the sea, the steerage passengers turned away, their muffled sobs and soft keening carried away on the rising wind. They’d left Ireland for a better life in America, but would any of them survive to see that land of promise?

As they turned to go, his father suddenly knelt before him, clutching Dary’s shoulders and staring into his eyes. “Ye are the last one, Dary.” His deep voice shook with the intensity of his grief. “The last o’ the Greelys. ’Tis ye will live on to tell the stories o’ us all. Ye’re the lucky lad, Dary, so ye are. Always remember that.”

The words rang bitter in Dary’s ears. The urge to vomit clutched at his throat with ruthless fingers. But he managed a nod. “Aye, Da. I’ll always remember, I promise. I’m the lucky one.”

Cynthia OwensAt that moment, Dary made a fierce, silent vow to himself. He would survive to see America. He would go to school in America, make something of himself, just as Da had told him he could. He’d learn to read and write and do sums. He’d make his parents proud.

He was the lucky one.

Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your new release here.

Please feel free to comment about Cynthia’s new book.

–Lily

 

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My Dark Rose – Cynthia Owens | Preview & Blurb

My Dark Rose…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

 

He was the lucky one…

Dary Greely is the only one of his brothers and sisters to survive the hunger in Ireland and the coffin ship to America. He was the one whose parents made a bit of money, the one who emerged from the war virtually unscathed. He was the lucky one…but when the war ended, his luck ran out.

She was burdened by too many responsibilities…

Róisín Donavan is an Irish girl who lives in a Five Points tenement room. She dreams of a future as a great diva and sings Irish songs at Paddy Ryan’s Pub. But her stubborn Irish pride won’t allow her to abandon her family, even if it means sacrificing everything for them.

Can Dary make Róisín see her true worth? Can Róisín heal the festering wounds that tear at Dary’s soul? And can love truly mend their grieving hearts?

More from Cynthia Owens later today.

 

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Guest Author: June 26, 2014: Cynthia Owens

Cynthia OwensI’m pleased to announce the upcoming appearance here of Cynthia Owens, author of My Dark Rose, on June 26th.

Cynthia is a fellow writer of historical romance and we are colleagues in Romance Writers of America and chapters Hearts Through History and Celtic Hearts. I’m happy to welcome a fellow Franco-Celt (Welsh) descendent.  Below is a little bit about her, in her own words.

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

Cynthia will be here in a week’s time – mewn wythnos!

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