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By Rebecca Price Janney, Jul 12 2018 05:23PM

Last Saturday my newest book in the Easton Series debuted at a place that couldn’t have been more fitting, the Easton Farmers’ Market. The weather was made-to-order. The launch of Easton at the Crossroads coincided with the 266th birthday of the market, which is the nation’s oldest continuously running one of its kind. At a place where my ancestors did their shopping from 1752 onwards, I had the pleasure of offering all my Easton books to the public. Wow!

I wasn’t alone either.

There was a special “appearance” of Colonel Peter Kichline, one of the two main characters in my books, as well as members of the Northampton County Flying Camp. This military unit went to the aid of General Washington for the defense of New York in August 1776, and their story is told in Easton at the Crossroads. Leading these troops was my dear friend Christopher “Sergeant” Black and his lovely wife, Patricia, who doubled as “Private Patrick.” They gathered a few members of their Flying Camp reenactors, and we also had the pleasure of spending time with Easton’s official town crier, David Rose, as well as two others who also pursue this old-time profession, including William Joseph. The Flying Camp marched around the Circle once, and signed up recruits at a special station next to my book table.

What a great day! How thankful I am for the Flying Camp and the Farmers’ Market for making the debut of Easton at the Crossroads totally special.

Rebecca at Farmers' Market with Peter Kichline, Flying Camp, &  Town Criers
Rebecca at Farmers' Market with Peter Kichline, Flying Camp, & Town Criers

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jul 3 2018 12:27PM

Hear ye! Hear ye! Elk Lake Publishing has just released Rebecca Price Janney’s third book in the Easton Series, Easton at the Crossroads!

When you do the right thing, shouldn’t life fall into place? Not for them. Probably not for you.

Revolution has come to Northampton County! Publication of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, is igniting many with patriotism. Others, however, are aflame with indignation—breaking away from Great Britain is sheer madness! Moravians and Mennonites stand apart, wanting to avoid armed conflict. Peter Kichline is caught in the fray while protecting his reputation from a vicious rumor.

Erin Miles is facing the outcome of life-changing decisions, but her teaching job is turning into an ill-fitting fiasco, her ailing parents can’t be in the same room together, and her preteen son develops an aversion for school and a fondness for cell phones. The man she might have a future with brings disappointment.

These are the times that try Peter and Erin’s souls. What they thought was going to be solid ground has become sinking sand.

Does this sound familiar? You’ve done all you can to bring about a positive outcome, so why isn’t life turning out right? Peter and Erin’s journey in Easton at the Crossroads will encourage you. This book, and the others in the Easton Series are available at,, and your local book seller.

Launch Events

Wednesday, July 4th, 10-Noon

(With Colonel Peter Kichline and his Northampton County Flying Camp)

The George Taylor House, Catasauqua, PA

Saturday, July 7th, Morning

Easton Farmer’s Market, Easton, PA

(With Colonel Peter Kichline and his Northampton County Flying Camp)

Easton Heritage Day, Sunday, July 8th, 1 PM - ?

First United Church of Christ, on North Third Street

(With Colonel Peter Kichline)

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jun 26 2018 12:27PM

I write about a lot of famous Easton people in my novels, but they’re mainly 18th century folks. There’s Colonel Peter Kichline, of course, who’s one of two main characters in the stories, as well as George Taylor, signer of the Declaration of Independence. There are others claiming local fame, among them Lewis Gordon, Robert Traill, Robert Levers, Nicholas Tatamy.

Easton’s most famous “famous son” in the contemporary era, however, is legendary boxer Larry Holmes. I want to give him a shout out on this 40th anniversary of his World Boxing Championship fight against Ken Norton in June 1978. The “Easton Assassin” had a wicked left jab which propelled him to global fame, but he also Holmes won the hearts of his fellow Eastonians. I remember the vibrant victory parade downtown after he won the title, the jubilation and pride. Later, Riverside Drive was renamed Larry Holmes Drive, and in 2015, the City of Easton dedicated a bronze statue of him at Scott Park overlooking the Forks of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers.

Holmes held the heavyweight title for seven-and-half years, second-longest only to Joe Louis.

Last year during Easton Heritage Day, “Peter Kichline” and his “son” bumped into Holmes, who seemed delighted at meeting the 18th century Easton icon. All three of them struck a fighting pose—the Kichlines, ready to face down the British, and Holmes for having pummeled the likes of Ali, Norton, Spinks, and Shavers.

Larry Holmes Meets Colonel Peter Kichline and Son - Easton Heritage Day
Larry Holmes Meets Colonel Peter Kichline and Son - Easton Heritage Day

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jun 21 2018 12:38PM

Have you ever been in a risky situation requiring fast action? What did you do? Here’s a story about a woman willing to give her all for a cause she believed in.

Molly Hays watched as her husband John marched off to battle on an aggressively hot June day in 1778. A sound like a violent thunderclap pierced her ears as other soldiers’ wives hastened to safety far behind the lines. When a cannon boomed, she knew her husband was at his post.

All too quickly, many Patriots began fading in the 100-plus degree heat. Molly heard their cries for water and realized if the men weren’t soon refreshed, the Americans might lose the battle. Without considering her personal safety, she hurried to a nearby spring and filled her pail with cold, clear water. Then, hitching up her long, hot skirts, she dashed toward the front, praying she wasn’t too late.

On the battlefield the acrid stench of gunpowder nearly overcame her, but she steadied herself, making trip after trip from the spring to the dehydrated soldiers. Their throats thick with dust, they opened their mouths like baby birds and drank greedily. As she worked, the young woman tried keeping track of her husband and only when she saw him, slumped over the cannon with heat exhaustion, did Molly abandon her trips to the spring.

She hurried to John’s side, took a rag, and plunged it into her last pail of water. Afterward she helped him into the cannon’s shade. Her husband’s partner at the cannon gaped as Molly then took up the ramrod John had dropped. “Load!” she hollered. “But—“ the man stammered. “Load!”

The gunpowder and ammunition fused in an explosive roar, sending black soot all over Molly’s sticky clothes. She served as the regiment’s cannoneer for the rest of the fight in spite of fatigue and blistered hands. The battle ended in a British retreat, and Molly earned a new nickname, “Moll of the Pitcher” or “Molly Pitcher,” as well as a place in American history.

Ten thousand men on each side had fought that day, with sixty-nine American fatalities and more than three times that many British. General Washington personally thanked Molly Hays and recommended to Congress that she be commissioned a sergeant and given half-pay for life. Early in 1822, she began to receive a $40-a-year pension by an act of the Pennsylvania Assembly, as a Revolutionary War widow. (John died in 1789; her second husband passed away around 1813.) Then on February 21st, the act was amended to honor her own service. She died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on January 22, 1832.

(Adapted from GREAT WOMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY, Rebecca Price Janney, 1996, Moody Publishing)

Molly Hays (Artist's Rendition from GREAT WOMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY)
Molly Hays (Artist's Rendition from GREAT WOMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY)

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jun 13 2018 02:21PM

Writing a book is not just about writing a book. A good bit of being an author involves more than bringing a story to life.

People often ask, “How long does it take you to write one of your Easton novels?” My answer, “Between six to eight months.” That’s just the writing part. Then there’s another one to two months involving production. I’ve recently completed the third book in the series, Easton at the Crossroads, but the process didn’t end with the last sentence. No siree Bob, as my uncle used to say.

Once I completed the manuscript, I needed to:

• Provide an updated author bio and photo

• Work with the artist on a new cover

• Write back matter for the book

• Secure endorsements

• Begin putting together a press release

• Revisit my plan to let people know about the new book through blogs, social media, email, newspapers and broadcast media

• Arrange a book launch/tour

• Figure out whom to send “comp copies” to.

Oh, and did I mention edits? This is the process in which I finish and comb through the book for errors. Then I send the manuscript to my editor. She works through it and sends it back. I review her corrections, revise the manuscript and send it back to her; she goes through the book again, then throws it back to me for one last look before proofs come. When the proofs come, I records any mistakes or changes on an official sheet.

In addition to these steps, this time I worked with Elk Lake’s artist to create maps of Easton, then and now. Okay, don’t laugh. Anyone who knows me well understands I have a stunted sense of directions. Despite that infirmity, Jeff Gifford and I worked together for several weeks creating and revising (endlessly revising) maps that will help readers become more intimately acquainted with Easton. The end result is a lot of fun! I can’t wait to see the maps inside Crossroads.

How much of writing a book is actually writing a book, then? Hmmm, let’s say about 75%. It’s a good thing I enjoy the rest of the process!

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