Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Dana Vacca


Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you live outside the US and win, you’ll receive a digital copy of the book.)

Freedom Calling Dana Vacca

Not just another Civil War novel! This inspiring story is an unforgettable story of strength & determination against the forces of the elements and the evil sides of human nature. It will make you re-think your own definition of freedom, morality and humanity. A perilous sea voyage, a New Bedford whaling ship, Virginia’s Dismal Swamp, and the war-ravaged South test the determination and willpower of two escaped slaves who struggle to overcome tribulation, conquer hardship and prevail in the face of adversity. This is a book you won’t want to put down!

This page-turning drama is packed with action, emotion, romance and tumultuous adventure, and is vibrantly painted with powerful characters, vivid imagery and factual details of the Civil War era. It is an exploration into the meaning of freedom and love and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.

In the midst of the Civil War, runaway slaves Daisy Green and her daughter Celia attempt a nearly infallible but risky plan to escape from their Southern plantation and stow away on a sailing ship headed north. The cruelties of slavery that have broken Daisy’s body have only reinforced her steadfast will to get her daughter to freedom. They will do whatever they must to be free.

Mother and daughter are soon separated, and everything changes. Help and danger come from unexpected places.  Although their strong bond endures, their hearts are torn by desperation, sorrow, and fear.  Faith in God’s divine guidance, and in each other, gives them strength to persevere in their courageous struggle to find liberty and happiness.

Emotional, fast-paced, exciting, and compelling, their journeys take them to heights of happiness and plunge them to depths of despair – and back again. Their incredible search for freedom becomes a fight for life and a test of love.

FREEDOM CALLS to these unforgettable heroines, Daisy and Celia. Will they find freedom,… and each other?

Watch the book trailer here.

Dana Vacca

Dana Vacca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College. She is retired from teaching visual media and design at the college level. She has illustrated children’s books but equally loves to paint with words to create exciting adventure, vivid imagery and compelling characters in her creative writing and fictional works.
Dana is a lover of old things and collects antiques. Often, an estate find leads her deep into the past and into the life story of its former owner. Treasured possessions can unfold the whole history of a bygone era and offer a glimpse, as if through a keyhole, the intimacies of lives lived long ago. These meanderings into the past feed into her writing and breathe life into the characters she creates.
Visit Dana’s Facebook blog for Civil War trivia and book highlights! And find Dana’s books on Amazon.
Dana is giving away a print copy of her book to one winner – just leave a comment on this blog to be eligible.
Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the Rhode Island Author Expo!

2,093 Miles


In seven days we traveled through ten different states (but who’s counting?).  Rhode Islanders are accustomed to moving among the states quite easily; we’ve driven to Stockbridge in western Massachusetts for lunch, visited the Vermont Country Store on a day trip, taken the ferry from Connecticut to Long Island and back in a day and thought nothing of it. Get out of New England, though, and all of a sudden the states seem a lot bigger. I guess they are. Rhode Island’s area is just over 1,000 square miles, Pennsylvania’s is just over 46,000, and Virginia’s is slightly less. So there was a lot of ground to cover on this trip! We left Rhode Island, drove through Connecticut, down Route 95 and the stress-filled area through New York and New Jersey, into the rich green farmland of Pennsylvania, landscapes dotted with neatly rolled bales of hay, black cows, a red barn, and a gray silo. All visible from the window of a car traveling at 65 mph. There’s a tiny part of West Virginia that juts out into Route 81, so anyone traveling that stretch of highway will pass through Martinsburg, and perhaps visit the very clean Welcome Center. West Virginia may not have much real estate along Route 81, but they sure make the best of it!

It’s a long drive through Virginia, passing towns with names familiar to any Civil War buff: Front Royal, Shenandoah, Staunton. And some intriguing names, like Burnt Factory, Quicksburg, Fort Defiance, Steeles Tavern. As we turned onto Route 77 towards North Carolina, we passed Fancy Gap and Crooked Oak and we neared Mount Airy, which lies close to the border with Virginia. Mount Airy was the hometown of Andy Griffith, and everywhere you look, there are tributes to this favorite son. Although the town bears little resemblance to Mayberry of TV fame, the downtown area has been preserved and features the Snappy Lunch, Opie’s Candy Store, Floyd’s Barber Shop, and Barney’s Cafe. A sweet place.

We drove to Galax, Virginia, and our trusty GPS told us to follow back roads instead of the highway. Of course, this made us happy, as we love the back roads! Jim handled this leg, thankfully, and maneuvered through Piper’s Gap, one of dozens of mountain roads through the Blue Ridge Mountains. In Galax, we enjoyed the best barbeque (brisket, not pork!) at the Galax Smokehouse, then continued along the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Music Heritage Trail (a 300+-mile route in southwestern Virginia) to the town of Floyd, a regional destination for bluegrass and old-time mountain music.

The following day we drove part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Back in 2005, we drove the Parkway north from Roanoke to Winchester; this time, we traveled from Fancy Gap south to Boone, stopping at the Blue Ridge Music Center to see the wonderful exhibits and listen to Scott Freeman and his father-in-law Willard Gayheart, Scott on mandolin and Willard on guitar, both in very fine voice. We wanted to stay all day, but the road beckoned. If you’ve never had the opportunity to drive or bike the Blue Ridge Parkway, put it on your list. We drove through the clouds at times, but there are so many overlooks, we found plenty of clear views of the valleys below.

When we left Mount Airy and North Carolina, there was the long drive back through Virginia (in a driving rainstorm) that brought us back to Gettysburg for the night. And with that much driving ahead of us, we decided to make one more stop before heading home, so we chose Rome, New York, east of Syracuse (we had our little dog with us, so our hotel choices were limited, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way). Our final drive was on the New York Thruway down to the familiar Massachusetts Turnpike, crossing over the Housatonic and Westfield Rivers, through Chicopee and Olde Sturbridge Village, into northern Rhode Island and home at last. Back to where it’s less than five miles to church, market, and gasoline.