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  • amanda@amandamcetas.com

Looking Forward to 2023!




Happy New Year! 2022 was a mixed bag with the joy of my nephew’s wedding to a wonderful young woman and the tremendous sorrow of my brother’s passing. I was able to reconnect with old friends and extended family. I helped my sister-in-law pack up for her move back to Portland, and enjoyed watching my three grandchildren grow, learn, and develop over the year. My youngest son and his girlfriend moved back to Tucson, and I had all my kids over for Christmas Eve for the first time in several years. Then my parents, my husband, and I all came down with Covid after Christmas. We are slowly recuperating but are still not back to 100%. No one likes being sick, but at least, I have a lovely view of the beach and the New Year’s parade to enjoy as I snuggle into my blanket.


As I look forward to 2023, I am encouraged by two promises of new life. I am eagerly awaiting the birth of my niece’s first child any day now. Secondly, my daughter and her husband have been matched to adopt a little girl expected to be born in February, and we are hopeful that this one will stick and the adoption will be finalized later this year.


I am hoping to finish book three of Etienne’s journey, At the Mercy of the Sea. In this book, I also follow the adventures of a new character I introduced at the end of book two, A Home in the Wilderness. Like Etienne, Abraham Dayton was real person, and an ancestor on my father’s side of my family tree. Book three then follows the dual storylines of these two young men as they navigate the dangers of the colonial world in the late seventeenth century.


As with Etienne’s story in Thrown to the Wind, I am trying to stay as close to the historical record as possible, though I have filled in the gaps to fill out the narrative. I have created his personality based on familial traits and assumptions based on his known actions to documented events. The dialogue is made up, but it is my hope, as always, that I have done justice to this remarkable young man. I hope that you will enjoy his story as much as you have enjoyed Etienne’s.


While I had hoped to get the third book finished before Christmas, events have conspired against me. The work continues though, and I expect to see it released later this year.



On March 4th and 5th, I will again be attending the Tucson Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus, with two of my writer friends, Theoden Humphrey and Lisa Watson. I hope you will be able to come out and see us there. It is always a fabulous event showcasing amazing array of books from both local and more well-known authors. The Festival is one of the largest such events in the country and is lots of fun for readers of all ages!


Later in July, I will attend the Arizona Families for Home Education Conference in Phoenix. I attended this conference last year for the first time and am looking forward to reconnecting with new friends there again this year.


In my previous newsletter, I talked about the Black Hawk War and how it connected to a family mystery I recently uncovered. If you missed that one, you may find it here. Sadly, I don’t have a story for you this month because Covid had befuddled my brain, but as my health continues to improve, I will be on the lookout for more interesting things to share with you next month.


Take care of yourselves until we connect again, next month!



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