Bella’s Point Blog Challenge

The header features a public domain image of the Confederate version of the Napoleon cannon pulled from Wikipedia.

Bella's Point Blog Challenge

Cera sketch plus color!Elizabeth is celebrating the release of her book, Bella’s Point, by hosting a blog hop/challenge. She wants bloggers to post anything that might interest a reader—informational, educational, fictional, poetic, contemplative…It’s up to them to choose. Her judges will decide what they like to read best.

Want to join in?

  1. Write something readers want to read. No word limit, no guidelines. Your only prompt is: The year was 1865…. (feel free to ignore the prompt, creative genius never bound by rules or prompts)
  2. Display the Bella’s Point Hop Badge (which is lovely and made by the amazing Carrie Butler of Forward Authority)
  3. Add the tour blurb and links to your post
  4. Post between July 15th and July 31st. Notify Elizabeth via email (eseckman@ymail.com) when post is live so she can inform the readers.
    http://www.eseckman.blogspot.com/p/bellas-point-blog-challenge.html

History Lesson

On May 11th, 1865, Barrett gave his attack orders for what would be the last land battle of the Civil War, which technically ended back when Lee surrendered on April 9th, 1865. Wikipedia states:

Why the battle happened remains something of a mystery.

It goes on to tell about initial success and eventual defeat of Barrett’s men three days later.

After some confusion and fierce fighting, the Union forces retreated back towards Boca Chica.

Now I present…

Cera Chronicles – Palmito Ranch

This frigging war was supposed to be over.

Sweat dribbled between my breasts, but a refreshing late-spring breeze wafted in from the Rio Grande. Crushed foliage sweetened the humid air—ripe with man-sweat and horse manure. Through the mass of blue uniforms, I saw a bright red face scanning the mayhem.

Barrett bared his teeth. “I’ll find you, Cera!”

Yeah right.

I suppose I was to blame for this battle. Theodore Barrett, leader of the Sixty-Second U.S. Colored Infantry, had accused me of being a spy when he caught me stealing a family heirloom. But one look at me and he prefixed his assumption with “witch”. I denied the accusation. And then I torched his office with a fireball.

I probably should’ve clarified about not being a spy before leaving. He might not have sent his Lieutenant Colonel to attack the Confederate encampments.

“Colonel,” shouted a voice.

Barrett focused on the speaker. “What?”

“Sir! The Confederates are attacking from our flank! Brings the total to six 12-pounder field pieces, sir.”

Time to return to my companions and get off this world.

The artillery boomed. Marshy, windswept prairie exploded at my feet. I dodged debris and checked the sack of relics I’d collected. They’d better not break. Local world rumor said these little trinkets held mystical healing power. Since my goal was to find a cure for my dad’s coma, I wanted to give them a try.

A hand grabbed my arm. “Cera.” William, a runaway-slave-turned-Union-infantry, leaned closer and raised his voice over the battle noise. “Help us!”

I sighed. William was the only reason I hadn’t left already.

I shook free of his grip and focused on the Confederates reloading their cannons—hazy silhouettes against a burnished backdrop. I wasn’t in the mood for mass slaughter. Defense maybe? I cracked my knuckles. Which gun would go off first?

Second from my left fired. I summoned water and hit the projectile from the side. It flew off-course, taking out chaparral before crashing into the water. Crap. I needed better control over this or I’d kill someone myself.

William stared at me, mouth gaping.

I shrugged and rolled my eyes. Locals. “What did you expect when you asked for my help?”

Another blast from the artillery. I tried for a direct counter and threw up a frozen wall in the shell’s path. The 12-pound round struck it and exploded in a glorious display. Ice and shrapnel rained down on both companies. Cries rose from the men I’d meant to protect.

I winced. They might be better off without me.

A cacophony of pistols and swords continually assaulted my eardrums, but nothing more from the big guns. Why hadn’t they fired again?

The cannons boomed, belching smoke. And six soaring spheres.

Oh crap.

Horns blared, and Barrett screamed, “Retreat!”

Bella’s Point

Be sure to check out Elizabeth’s new book, Bella’s Point—now available for purchase.

BellaIsabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way a fallen debutante knows how.
She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband.

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella’s affection. He rejected her then, and he’s still not sold on the idea of marrying her now.

It’s complicated.

Though to Bella, it’s simple: make Jack love her, marry her, and live happily ever after. The plan seems to work…at least until her secret is revealed.

Cover art by Sprinkles on Top Studios.

Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house…though all things in life are negotiable. 😉

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Additional fact-checking information:
In his report, Barrett states the enemy used six 12-pounder field pieces. The cannons were likely Napoleons, since that was the favored weapon of both sides, and the shells surprised Barrett and his men. Total casualties came to 4 killed and 12 wounded for the Union (strength of 500), and 5-6 wounded for the Confederacy (strength of 300). The battle was considered a Confederate victory.

Based on the amount of research I did for this piece, I’ve decided I never want to write a historical. I stand in awe of those who do.

Have you ever toyed with history? Have you read Elizabeth’s book? Are you participating in her challenge?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

30 thoughts on “Bella’s Point Blog Challenge

  1. And then I torched his office with a fireball.
    You have such a great sense of humor in your writing!

  2. For not liking the research, you did a terrific job! I immediately fell in love with the character. 🙂 So no entire book someday???

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      If I do get around to turning this into a novella, it’ll be way WAY down the list of novellas.

  3. OMG, I love that you made Cera the cause of this mystery battle!!! That’s brilliant. And so much fun. I mean, why not, right? This was great, and totally fun to read, so you definitely met the challenge. And boy do I hear you about historicals… never again, I keep telling myself!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Though you seem to be a glutton for research, Liz.

  4. Hahahaha! I love mixing fantasy with fiction. Whew! That was awesome.

  5. Oh, I loved it! You’re so clever for making Cera the cause for the battle. It’s awesome that you have a story line and a character that you can literally put anywhere, in any circumstance. Other authors don’t have that privilege. You definitely have a gold mine with Cera and all of her future stories. The options are limitless. This piece was awesome. I wouldn’t mind a complete novella for this in the distant future. 🙂

  6. Great job! I did mine on the Civil War, too, although I cheated and mentioned a battle from late 1864!

    • I saw. That fight your post was on looked pretty terrifying.

  7. That was awesome! Great voice. I think this is the my favorite entry in Elizabeth’s challenge so far.

  8. Very nice and what a great prompt for a blog hop. They humor of your writing voice is quite appealing.

  9. History with a fantasy twist. I like the story. Tell the truth, you’ve had this story running around in your head for a while, right? Very nice.

    • 🙂 Only since I’d heard about Elizabeth’s challenge.

  10. How awesome…she torched him with a fireball. Cera is one classy dame! Love how you mixed history with fantasy. (And I knew Cera would would make an excellent series!)

    Thanks for taking part. You rock!

  11. I laughed at the retreat! I could see that happening. Fun to read.

  12. I’m really in trouble now. LOL
    Great entry! Love it!!! 😀

    • I think you have a better chance than I do with your emotionally-gripping story. But I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  13. TERRIFIC JOB, LONI!!!

    I really enjoyed the action, pace, dialogue and fantasy elements. You are so right, historical research is a bear! I started writing a novella set in the 1940’s Chicago, and let me say between the period speech, clothes, locations, etc. I am FOREVER researching. A writer HAS TO BE AUTHENTIC when writing about a past life whether it be old west or ‘4o’s noir…

    • Thank you! Yeah, the noir research is something I’ll need to do too, but since it won’t be our world or based on historical events, I can fudge it a bit. 🙂

      Best of luck with your research!

  14. […] see my flash fiction entry for Elizabeth’s Bella’s Point blog challenge, please check it out, and then sign up […]

  15. That was very clever. And now we have the reason! I am toying with an historical piece and I agree it’s tough and the research is endless.

  16. Ha! I love that she torched his office with a fireball! Awesome.

  17. Such a treat to read. I’m glad you used Cera, I love the way she (you) sees things. 😀

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