BIRDIE continues the story of Ragna Larson, kidnapped with her little sister during the 1862 Sioux Uprising. At the end of the conflict, Ragna is returned to Camp Release. Her sister is never heard from again. Though Ragna was orphaned by the uprising, she is raised by Evan and Inga Jacobson. BIRDIE takes place eleven years after the uprising during the difficult years of the grasshopper plagues.
BIRDIE is available at book stores and online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Ask for it at your local books stores and libraries. Remember to support your local indie bookstores.
Article Brainerd Daily Dispatch 5/5/11
Local author celebrates release of third novel
Pequot Lakes author Candace Simar celebrated the release of her third historical novel, “Birdie,” at Bar Harbor Supper Club. See photos.
“Birdie” continues the story of Evan and Inga Jacobson 11 years after their appearance in “Abercrombie Trail” during the Sioux Uprising. It also continues the story of “Pomme de Terre,” where Ragna Larson, who was kidnapped by the Sioux, returned to Camp Release at the end of the conflict.
“Candace has an amazing following of readers and her books have been some of our best sellers since the release of her first novel, ‘Abercrombie Trail,’ in 2009 and then ‘Pomme de Terre in 2010,’” said Mary Miller of Rainy Days Bookstore in Nisswa. “We thought it only fitting that Rainy Days Bookstore would host Birdie’s launch right here in the Brainerd lakes area.”
Simar spent eight years researching and writing her three novels set during the time of the Civil War and the 1862 Sioux Uprising. She did much of her research at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul and smaller regional museums, where she read diaries, newspapers, letters and army reports of 1860s Minnesota.
“Minnesota history is one of my favorite things,” Simar said. “All my life I’ve daydreamed how it might have been to live through the earliest days of Minnesota, wondered how historical events impacted ordinary people’s lives, and imagined characters and stories.”
While the history is real, she borrows freely from her own family history to create fictional characters. Born the granddaughter of Scandinavian immigrants, Simar nurtures a passion to document the difficulties of early Minnesota settlers in a realistic manner.
“It wasn’t easy for them,” she said. “People suffered without adequate medical care or social support systems. I try to show those things in my books without sugar-coating the facts.”
She recommends her novels to readers of all ages, saying, “Historical fiction is a painless way to learn history.”
Simar has been on a whirlwind tour of Midwestern libraries, book stores, historical societies, book clubs and festivals.
“The response to my novels has been overwhelming and the support I’ve received from this community has warmed my heart. I’m very grateful,” Simar said.
Simar will sign copies of her book and provide comments at Saturday’s book launch. Tickets to the event include a copy of “Birdie,” appetizers, and music by the Minneapolis band Murzik. Tickets are $25 in advance or $28 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Rainy Days Bookstore in Nisswa or by calling (218) 963-4891.
Murzik plays a mix of Eastern European folk and Midwest Americana. The band is made up of a rotating group of musicians featuring violin, guitar, accordion and brass. Simar’s son, Nathan, plays accordion with the band.