Guest author: N. A. Granger ~ Torrent…a #writephoto story and news of The Last Pilgrim

Eliza finally had to stop their mad flight, putting her arms around her little brother, both of them panting for breath.

When Indians had attacked their home in Kentucke, near Harrod’s Town, her parents dropped her and her four year old brother Elias heard into a deep dug-out space beneath the cabin. The Indians hadn’t found her, perhaps because of the bed placed over the floor, but she nearly suffocated Elias when he started to whimper. The noise of ransacking luckily covered his crying, and she heard a struggle, accompanied by her mother’s screams. After that, there were footsteps overhead, pacing here and there. Then silence, except for the noise of the flames consuming the house. They struggled to breathe, as the smoke filtered down, and Eliza covered her brother’s body with hers to keep him from burning. Her back stung where her dress had charred.

They remained in the hole, finally falling asleep, and she only awoke when Elias demanded food. There were dried apples in their hole, which Eliza jammed in her pockets after giving him one. Hearing no sounds, they slowly emerged, lifting what remained of the floor boards and pushing away the remnants of the bed. When she saw the burned bodies of her parents, she shielded Elias from the sight, wanting to scream from the horror of it. But her parents had told her of the dangers and had warned such a day might come. They’d made her promise to take care of her brother and that promise gave her strength. After some deep breaths, she sent Elias into the yard while she rummaged through the ruins, finding some scorched bread and letting her tears come when she knew he couldn’t see them.

Coming out from the ruins of the house, she told Elias they would walk to Fort Harrod –where her parents had told her to go. Still dazed by what had happened, Eliza tried to recall which way she and her father had gone on the one trip she’d taken there. She was relieved when she located the barely discernable trail, heading in the right direction. The trekked through the woods for the remainder of the day, and when Eliza could no longer see the trail, they stopped for the night – brother and sister sharing some of the bread and apples, then falling into an exhausted sleep under a bush.

As soon as the sun rose, Eliza woke a tired and cranky Elias. They ate the remaining food and started on the trail, losing it, backtracking, then finding it again. While she couldn’t shake the vision of her dead parents and the overwhelming fear they would be followed by the Indians, Elias had apparently recovered from the shock of the previous day. He was full of questions. “Where are Mother and Father? Why did the house burn down? Can I have an apple? Can we stop and rest for a while? When will we be there?”

Eliza’s attempts to shush him were in vain.

As the sun passed overhead, they stopped to rest. Eliza suddenly placed her hand over her brother’s mouth. She could just hear twigs snapping and the soft crunch of weight on the forest floor. “Someone’s following us, Elias. We need to run!” Grabbing Elias’ hand, she yanked him and ran as fast as they could together, telling him again and again to be quiet.

When she heard rushing water, she stopped and whispered, “A river, brother. We can use it to hide our footsteps.” Her father had taught her that. When they reached the edge of a steep hill, she saw the river below, and taking Elias’s hand, she began the steep descent. When they reached the bottom of the hill, they saw a huge waterfall. “Come on, Elias! I have an idea.”

They stumbled and tripped over the rocks and roots along the water’s edge, finally coming to the shining curtain of water, becoming enveloped in its spray. “Don’t be afraid,” she told Elias, pulling him through the curtain to the space behind it. “There. It was just a cold bath. Wasn’t that fun?” When he nodded, she whispered, “Don’t make a sound now,” and held her fingers to her lips. She gave him the last apple in her pocket, hoping his eating it would cut off his questions.

After a short while, she saw a figure through the curtain, moving slowly across it, and pulled her brother and herself into as small a ball as possible. All of the fears she had suppressed for the past two days suddenly took hold. We’lll be captured! I’ve failed my parents.

She was so overwhelmed be these dreadful thoughts that she barely heard, “Eliza, Elias – are you there? I’ve been trailing you since yesterday. You’re safe. I’ll take you to the fort.”

It was her neighbor. Daniel Boone.

Coming soon!

Due for publication in April 2020

The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman

N. A. Granger

The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman captures and celebrates the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women, who stepped off the Mayflower in the winter of 1620 to an unknown world – one filled with hardship, danger and death.  The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.

Mary Allerton Cushman was the last surviving passenger of the Mayflower, dying at age 88 in 1699. Her unusually long life and her relationships with important men – her father, Isaac Allerton and her husband, Thomas Cushman – gave her a front row seat to the history of the Plymouth Colony from its beginnings as the first permanent settlement in New England to when it became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

Mary’s life is set against the real background of that time. The Last Pilgrim begins from her father’s point of view – she was, after all, only four when she descended into the small living space below deck on the Mayflower – but gradually assumes Mary’s voice, as the colony achieves a foothold in the New England’s rocky soil. Hers is a story of survival – the daily, back-breaking work to ensure food on the table, the unsettled interactions with local native tribes, the dangers of wild animals, and the endless challenges of injury, disease and death.

What was a woman’s life like in the Plymouth Colony? The Last Pilgrim will tell you.

About the author

Noelle Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a rambling, 125-year-old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming. She was also one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation. Granger graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. The Rhe Brewster Mystery Series was born.

The series features Rhe Brewster, an emergency room nurse, as the protagonist. Rhe lives in the fictional coastal town of Pequod, Maine, (similar to Plymouth) and Granger uses her knowledge of such a small town, her experiences sailing along the Maine coast, and her medical background to enrich each book in the series. In the first book, Death in a Red Canvas Chair, the discovery of a wet, decaying body of a young woman, sitting in a red canvas chair at the far end of a soccer field, leads Rhe on a trail that heads to a high-end brothel and a dodgy mortuary operation.

The second novel in the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death in a Dacron Sail, was released in 2015, and finds Rhe responding to a discovery by one of the local lobstermen: a finger caught in one of his traps. The third book, Death By Pumpkin, begins with the sighting of the remains of a man’s body in a car smashed by a giant pumpkin at the Pequod Pumpkin Festival.

In addition to the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Granger has had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine, and has been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, The News & Observer, The Boothbay Register, and other local press. Granger lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

Noelle blogs at Sayling Away and you can find her on Twitter @rhebrewster, Goodreads and Facebook. Follow Noelle on Amazon for the latest updates and new books.

Click images or titles to go to Amazon

13194341_9781630030339_coverDeath in a Red Canvas Chair

On a warm fall afternoon, the sweet odor of decay distracts Rhe Brewster from the noise and fury of her son’s soccer game. She’s a tall, attractive emergency room nurse with a type A personality, a nose for investigation and a yen for adrenalin. This time her nose leads her to the wet, decaying body of a young woman, sitting in a red canvas chair at the far end of the soccer field. Her first call is to her brother-in-law, Sam Brewster, who is Sheriff of Pequod, the coastal Maine town where she lives. Sam and Rhe’s best friend Paulette, Pequod’s answer to Betty Crocker, are her biggest sources of encouragement when Rhe decides to help the police find the killer. Her discovery that the victim is a student at the local college is initially thwarted by an old frenemy, Bitsy Wellington, the Dean of Students. Will, Rhe’s husband and a professor at the same college, resents her involvement in anything other than being a wife and mother and must be manipulated by Rhe so that she can follow her instincts. Rhe’s interviews of college students leads her to a young woman who had been recruited the previous year to be an escort on a Caribbean cruise ship, and Rhe trails her to a high class brothel at a local seaside estate. The man behind the cruise ship escort service and the brothel is the owner of a chain of mortuaries and is related to the dead student. When Rhe happens on the murder of a young hospital employee who also works for the mortuary chain, she becomes too much of a threat to the owner’s multiple enterprises. She is kidnapped by two of his thugs and is left to die in a mortuary freezer. In the freezer she finds frozen body parts, which are linked to a transplantation program at her hospital. Despite all the twists and turns in her investigation, Rhe ultimately understands why the student was killed and who did it. And she solves the riddle of why the body was placed in the red canvas chair on the soccer field.

Read a review by Irene A. Waters

Death in a Dacron Sail high-resolution-front-cover-4957203

On an icy February morning, Rhe Brewster, an emergency room nurse with a nose for investigation, is called to a dock in the harbor of the small coastal town of Pequod, Maine. A consultant to the Pequod Police Department, Rhe is responding to a discovery by one of the local lobstermen: a finger caught in one of his traps. The subsequent finding of the body of a young girl, wrapped in a sail and without a finger, sends the investigation into high gear and reveals the existence of three other missing girls, as well as a childhood friend of Rhe’s. Battered by vitriolic objections from her husband about her work, the pregnant Rhe continues her search, dealing with unexpected obstacles and ultimately facing the challenge of crossing an enormous frozen bog to save herself. Will she survive? Is the kidnapper someone she knows? In Death in a Dacron Sail, the second book in the Rhe Brewster mystery series, Rhe’s nerves and endurance are put to the test as the kidnapper’s action hits close to home.

Read a review by author Luccia Gray

49266584_high-resolution-front-cover_6292375Death by Pumpkin

At the annual Pumpkin Festival in the coastal town of Pequod, Maine, Rhe Brewster, an ER nurse and Police Department consultant, responds to screams at the site of the Pumpkin Drop. Racing to the scene, where a one-ton pumpkin was dropped from a crane to crush an old car, Rhe and her brother-in-law, Sam, Pequod’s Chief of Police, discover the car contains the smashed remains of a man’s body. After the police confirm the death as a homicide, Rhe embarks on a statewide search to identify the victim and find the killer. During the course of the emotional investigation, she survives an attempt on her life at 10,000 feet, endures the trauma of witnessing the murder of an old flame, and escapes an arson attack on her family’s home. There is clearly a sociopath on the loose who is gunning for Rhe and leaving bodies behind. With Sam unable to offer his usual support due to an election recall and a needy new girlfriend, Rhe realizes that the only way to stop the insanity is to risk it all and play the killer’s game.

Maine’s most tenacious sleuth is back, this time to confront a menace that threatens to destroy her life and those closest to her. The latest installment of the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death by Pumpkin, is a murder mystery and thriller that tests the limits of Rhe’s strength and resolve like never before.

Read a review by Kate Loveton

Death in a Mudflat

Fearless detective, ER nurse, devoted mother, and Pequod, Maine’s, answer to Kinsey Milhone, Rhe Brewster is back on the case. When an idyllic seaside wedding is suddenly interrupted by the grotesque sight of a decaying human arm poking out of the tidal mud, Rhe is thrown head first into a treacherous world of duplicity, drugs, and murder. With her best friend Paulette and her main man Sam, the Chief of Police, Rhe seeks to solve the puzzle of the body found in the muck while also working with the FBI to identify the source of shipments of tainted heroin flooding the local campus and community. Maine’s opioid crisis has hit the town hard, with an escalating number of overdoses. More murders are uncovered, testing Rhe’s detective skills and steely resolve. While she follows the clues, Rhe encounters some sinister inhabitants of Pequod’s underbelly, including a practitioner of the Dark Arts, a hydra-headed crime gang, and an embittered, unhinged lobsterman with an axe to grind and nothing to lose. In her relentless drive to solve the crimes, Rhe narrowly escapes a watery grave, trades blows with Russian goons, and unknowingly prompts Paulette to put her life on the line in an attempt to catch a murderer in the act.

Read a review by Olga Nunez Miret

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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16 Responses to Guest author: N. A. Granger ~ Torrent…a #writephoto story and news of The Last Pilgrim

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    No blogger daily for a few days but instead a wonderful story from Noelle Granger as a guest on Sue Vincent’s blog today… and an update on Noelle’s new release due in April… The Last Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman a must read.. please enjoy this short extract and head over to Sue’s to read the entire story.. you will love it. thanks Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Guest author: N. A. Granger ~ Torrent…a #writephoto story and news of The Last Pilgrim | willowdot21

  3. noelleg44 says:

    And many thanks, Sue..and of course Ani for support!


  4. Awesome Noelle! Sharing everywhere and looking forward to a great read.


  5. petespringerauthor says:

    Sounds excellent, Noelle. Much luck with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for a amazing story, and a list of great reading food, too. Michael


  7. I enjoyed reading this excerpt from The Last Pilgrim. I certainly wasn’t expecting Daniel Boone to make an appearance!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer and commented:
    I was lucky enough to meet N A Granger at a blogger’s bash in London. A sound academic, a fascinating and lovely woman. Looking forward to this!

    Liked by 1 person

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