Deals, steals, and news from author Michelle Isenhoff.

Have you ever wept over a book? Has a character or event touched you so deeply that you couldn't get it out of your mind? I have. 

I spent three years researching the Civil War-era history of Charleston, South Carolina when writing Ella Wood. I memorized an 1855 map, studied the harbor, browsed old pictures, located railroad stations, churches, and government buildings. I studied the military campaigns that took place nearby. I came to know the leading citizens and their politics. I read personal accounts from the middle, lower, and slave classes. I even booked a flight and spent a week poking around the old city. For all its historical faults, I fell in love with Charleston. So when I had to write the chapters set within the Great Fire of 1861, I bawled like a baby. The destruction had become personal to me.

The fire started late in the evening on December 11, near the wharf on the east side of the city, on a night with a stiff wind. You can see where the efforts of slaves, sailors, freemen, women, and old men (most of the city's young white men were off playing war) nearly stopped the blaze by razing much of East Bay Street, where the path takes a sharp southern turn. Alas, the fire ate its way around the rubble. By moring, it had burned clear across the Charleston Peninsula. In Ella Wood, my heroine finds herself in the thick of things. It was one of the hardest passages I've ever had to write.

The fire completely devastated the city. Post-war images of Charleston like those below were proudly circulated in the North and the damage erroneously credited to the Union military. But the bombardment didn't start until nearly two years after the fire. And the balls, lobbed from so far out in the harbor, reached only the southernmost points of the city, doing little damage. By that time, the city was virtually a ghost town anyway. No, it was the Great Fire that did what the Yankees could not, driving the "seat of the rebellion" to its knees. Over a century would pass before Charleston would fully recover.

You can experience the Great Fire for yourself in book one of my trilogy, Ella Woodavailable FREE on all major vendors.

1865. Left to right: Circular Congregational Church, St. Philip's Church, Secession Hall. 

1865. Cathedral of St. Johns and St. Finbar. 

Before you go, be sure to check out the books and promos featured below. They're always free or bargain priced. I bounce between speculative and historical fiction (the main genres I write in), also some fantasy, middle grade, and a bit of romance, just to keep things interesting. 

Happy reading!


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New Releases

Deals and steals:

Lee Ann Ward

This time travel romance takes place in the Michigan Wilderness, yay! Grab it for 2.99.

Anna experiences vivid dreams from a past-life she lived in the 1800s with her husband Robert and their children in the wilderness of the Michigan Territory.

Historical thriller filled with mystery, corruption, and a quest for Nazi treasure. Get it for a special .99 pre-order price.

Chris Behrsin

A FREE prequel to Behrsin's steampunk fantasy tale, Dragonseer.

The king's father killed her mother's dragon. The king's men killed her mother. The king killed her own dragon. Now, Sukina must kill the king.

Misty Zaugg

Book three (green) of this YA dystopian thriller released TODAY. In celebration, book one (purple) is currently marked down to .99.

It's her sixteenth birthday and Kiriai has a big decision to make. Will she fight for her dream to battle in the arena? Or buckle under her grandfather’s pressure to become a healer?

Kiriai threw herself in front of a poisoned blade to protect her boss and earned the official title of scrapper, a lifelong dream. But, it’s all worthless when she’s forced to stand on her doorstep, powerless to stop burb ‘forcers as they whisk her grandfather, a renowned healer, away. She’ll do anything to get him back.

Current Promos:

View all Michelle's books.

Michelle Isenhoff

A former teacher and longtime homeschooler, MICHELLE ISENHOFF writes for children and adults. Her work has been reader-nominated for a Cybils Award, the Great Michigan Read, and the Maine Student Book Award. Michelle writes from Michigan where she bikes all summer and wears flip-flops all winter.