It really is a huge pleasure to have Lisa Potocar return with the sequel to her
incredible novel Sweet Glory.
And even though this is set during the Civil War, Train to Glory is timely.
Read on and you'll see what I mean.
A big bear hug to Leslie Ann for hosting me on her My Story, My Way ~ An Indie Adventure!
I’m beyond thrilled to be here and to FINALLY have Train to Glory out there, chugging—rather I hope soon to be traveling faster than the speed of a bullet—through the world! Anyhoo, I might be forgetful, but I can never be accused of not listening. And so, before I forgot (snicker, snort), I wrote this historical novel for the majority of readers who suggested a sequel to my first book, Sweet Glory! To boot, they got their wish of Jana’s reunion with her family for the opening scenes.
I wish I could’ve gotten this story to fans sooner, but I never anticipated writing a sequel, and I had already switched gears to another project when I had to make a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn to whip up a plot that could respectably follow Sweet Glory’s. This took some time to iron out, followed by the hefty research and travel required to reconstruct the many historical places featured in Train to Glory, not to mention the writing, editing, and production involved. And, of course, navigating through the nuances of marketing and promotion for Sweet Glory often disrupted my momentum and exhausted my ability to write every day.
Well, I can’t thank my readers enough for spurring me onward with Jana and company and for hanging in there all of this time. They gifted me a thrilling journey in living and breathing my story, and I hope they’ll enjoy the ride too! I’m especially proud of Train to Glory’s cover of which my publisher so kindly handed over the reins for me to design.
NOTE: For readers of Sweet Glory, you might find Train to Glory’s excerpt below (from the 3rd & 4th pages of Chapter 3) eerily familiar to the opening scenes of SG—insofar as Jana’s in the barn with her parents when trouble comes a calling!
A balmy liquid smelling of fresh milk splattered the nape of Jana’s neck. She jerked, kicking her tin pail; its contents emptied all along the wide plank floors as it rolled with a nerve-wracking clatter rivaling a volley of rifles.
Having grown to loathe loud noises, especially those that mimicked the sounds of battle, Jana plugged her ears until the racket subsided. She swiveled around on her stool to see Pa grinning and aiming a teat at her.
Pa’s merriment abated when he noted Jana’s scowl. “I didn’t mean to create chaos. I just thought you needed some nudging out of your brooding,” he said, knowing full well she’d been despairing over Keeley ever since they’d learned there were around seven hundred Union casualties at Trevilian Station.
Invisible to them from the other side of her cow, Ma called out, “Have you lost your confidence that Keeley will survive the war? From what you’ve told us of his tenacity and good sense, I just know he’ll be all right.”
“Yes, but—,” Jana stopped herself from telling them about the noose around her stomach that was tightening by the minute from her nagging intuition Keeley had run into trouble and was calling out to her for help. They’d just tell her to be patient—there’d be news from him soon. Her delay in returning to the field and failure to be there for him shattered her heart as if it had been hit by flying shards from an exploding shell. She could no longer worry about wrecking Ma and Pa’s joy over having her home; the second they finished milking, she’d tell them of her plans to leave straightaway. Too late in the day to make travel arrangements, she reluctantly fetched her bucket and returned to her stool. She’d just started milking when the drumming of a horse’s hoofs against the lane to the Brady homestead reached their ears.
Who could it possibly be? They weren’t expecting company tonight. The neighboring farmers would be too busy with their own cows right now to visit. And twelve-year-old Eddie Potts who Pa had hired to help with the morning and evening milking wasn’t expected back until after his pa’s furlough from his infantry regiment ended next week. Rising from her stool, Jana ticked off the tempo of the horse’s hoofs, which beat faster as they neared the barn—but not as fast as the anxiety beating against her temples.
Pa scrambled to the wide-open barn doors to await the arrival of their interloper.
Appearing from around the hindquarter of her Holstein, Ma wiped her hands on her apron and wisps of her hair away from her forehead, which was creased in concern.
The rider slowed his gelding, its summer coat frothy with sweat and its nostrils flared and puffing. He’d barely reined his mount to a stop when he leapt from the saddle, his boot soles kicking up dirt as they smacked the dry earth. After hitching his horse to the post outside, he strode toward Pa.
Something in his swagger struck Jana as familiar, but the heavy shadows of late-afternoon loitering just inside the barn’s threshold darkened his face, barring his identity.
Their visitor snatched his leather slouch hat from his head and began twirling it in his stumpy fingers. “Mr. Brady, Mrs. Brady,” he said, paying his respects to Ma and Pa.
To the unmistakable voice, Jana blurted out, “Leanne Perham, is that you?”
On the Road Again…
Home after having escaped the gallows for spying on the Confederacy, Jana Brady returns to Virginia in search of her soldier-sweetheart, Keeley Cassidy, who is missing from battle. She finds him suffering from amnesia, and she brings him to the Brady farm to recover. Months pass and Keeley’s inability to remember their love or fall in love with Jana all over again constantly frustrates her and confuses him. To give Keeley some breathing room, Jana agrees to travel around New York speaking about her time in uniform. She hops aboard her Train to Glory with high hopes of advancing the cause for women’s suffrage and equal rights.
Jana is kidnapped, and further scare tactics beyond her release attempt to thwart her ultimate goal of speaking before the 88th state legislature. With a wealthy philanthropist funding her tour, and her cavalry comrades and Pinkerton agents watching her back, Jana determines to see her commitment through. She especially refuses to give up when it appears her absence from home is making Keeley’s heart grow fonder for her. But a real threat of assassination looms over her. Will Jana elude death again? Or, at the very least, will Keeley come around to Jana in time to reconcile their love? In her sequel to Sweet Glory, Lisa Potocar masterfully interweaves adventure, romance, and suspense into a sweeping portrayal of the women’s suffrage and equal rights movement and the courage of key figures in history.
Lisa Potocar lives in Upstate New York with her husband and two cuddly keeshonds. Her passion for writing and research stems from her former work in health care administration and as a professor. When not tracking some morsel of history to shape into a story, she is a tomboy at heart who loves to hike and bike and has traveled the world to do it.