Bella’s Point Blog Challenge

Isabella Troy Stanley is a divorced, slave freeing pariah surviving in the shattered post Civil War south the only way a fallen debutante knows how. She heads to a Yankee prison and buys herself a husband. 

Jack Byron is the former Troy plantation stable boy and object of young Bella's affection. He rejected her then, and he's still not sold on the idea of marrying her now.  

It’s complicated.

Though to Bella, it’s simple: make Jack love her, marry her, and live happily ever after. The plan seems to work…at least until her secret is revealed.



Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house…though all things in life are negotiable 😉



You can find her here – Blog // Facebook // Twitter


Cover art by Sprinkles on Top Studios.



Elizabeth Seckman is celebrating the release of BELLA'S POINT with a challenge. Here are the rules:

-Write something readers want to read. No word limit, no guidelines. Your only prompt is: The year was 1865…. (feel free to ignore the prompt, creative genius never bound by rules or prompts)


-Display the Bella's Point Hop Badge (which is lovely and made by the amazing Carrie Butler of Forward Authority).

-Add the tour blurb and links to your post.

-Post between July 15th and July 31st. 


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I thought about the prompt for a while. My first decision was to write flash fiction. I love my FF. For some reason or the other, that didn't seem to take off. Then I decided to try and find out what special/significant events took place during that year. There was loads to choose from! Finally, I settled on 12 events, one for each month of the year 1865, and it evolved into a poem. I hope you like it!

                                            The Year Was 1865…
Some Stock Exchange news – the mood is upbeat
Its first permanent HQ opens near Wall Street
The only month where we send the madness a-packing
Recorded history reveals that a full moon was lacking…
He delivers the second inaugural speech
A would-be assassin – just within reach!
Month four includes Booth, and a shocking event
A theatre, a crime – they've shot the president!
The first US robbery involving a train
Was it Jesse James? Seems he stood to gain!
The Juneteenth festival originated this year
A national celebration – all in good cheer!
Alice In Wonderland made a very first appearance
Only published in 1868 – now that's perseverance!
Month number eight, a medical twister
First antiseptic surgery – well done Joseph Lister!
A Russian author who is struggling and broke
Pitches his manuscript and boom! What a smart bloke!
First underground pipeline for transporting oil
Is laid in the US after much slog and toil
"Jumping Frog" – short story published by Twain
Many more followed, so it wasn't in vain!

 A daily high credited to Rumford, unforgettable creator!

This month saw the patent of the first US coffee percolator!

                                               *          *          *          *          *
(This involved a certain amount of research – not too much. This exercise has been a learning curve – in more ways than one. It's convinced me of one thing. I know that I never want to write historical fiction! Congratulations to all those who write in this genre!)


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on July 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Well done, Michelle! That was really unique. Bet it did require a lot of research.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Actually, more research than I initially thought… 🙂

  2. Denise on July 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    You’re telling me Michelle. I could never write historical fiction. I’d get caught up in the research and would never get around to writing the story. But I do love a good historical fiction FABULOSITY READSso will check out Elizabeth’s.

    You got caught up in a bit of research there. Isn’t it amazing how much happens in any given year. Take 2014…

    Wish I had heard of this blog hop earlier. I must not move in the right blog circles.

    Hope you are well, Michelle.

    And this cover is lovely !


    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      I did get caught up… but it was a good exercise…  🙂 It's mind-boggling to think about what happens in any given year – so many events that we'll never know about…

      I think the writers of historical fiction have loads of fun (besides the intensive research that is required, of course…)

  3. Denise on July 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Oh, auto correct above. Sorry. Am on my phone.

  4. Melissa Maygrove on July 30, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Very original. Great entry. 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Melissa! 🙂

      I salute all you historical fiction writers! *bows* And your novel is a western historical story…how do you do it?

  5. Sammy D on July 31, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Congratulations on taking on the blog hop challenge!! I liked what you wrote and thought your " theme" was quite clever. Had to laugh about your FF anecdote – thought I'd try that for the A to Z Challenge – how hard could it be? LOL I never got out of the starting gate on that theme!?!

    I have total appreciation for novelists and short story tellers of all genres – their perseverance and vision is admirable.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Actually, I'm 'wired' for FF writing, and usually have loads of ideas. But not this time. I think my system went into shock at the idea of historically-inclined flash fiction… this caused my FF wiring to go 'on the blink'… LOL

  6. Murees Dupé on July 31, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Great job Michelle! 

  7. Hilary on July 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Hi Michelle – love your take on 1865 – fun way of bringing to life events … and getting us to get our thinking caps on.  Fun idea … 

    Then Elizabeth's book .. and the story – sounds very interesting … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      I can actually see you writing an entire blog post on the year 1865… you would have aced this challenge with your wonderfully eclectic style!

  8. L. Diane Wolfe on July 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I love that you put it in a rhyming verse. many thanks to the person who invented the coffee percolater.

  9. Carol Kilgore on July 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Love your poem! Well done. And I'm looking forward to reading Elizabeth's book.

  10. Elizabeth Seckman on July 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Holy smokes! That beats Billy Joel and his fire song. Love it! I believe all textbooks should be so catchy…kids would learn more. You could start a series…Rhyming the Times. 

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Okay, now I'm trying to remember which song is the fire song…? Something about starting a fire? Off to Google ———–

      • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

        I'm back.

        All I need to do is add a melody to this poem!  🙂 I like your idea – Rhyming The Times. Maybe I could make money that way. Then I could fund my book-that-has-yet-to-materialise-due-to-lack-of-funds… LOL

  11. J.L. Campbell on July 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    You're taught me a thing or two here, Michelle. I also fournd out about Alice through another blogger who participated in the challenge. Who knew the percolator was that old?

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Joy, I learned so much during the research. All the info out there- it's amazing!

  12. Loni Townsend on July 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Educational and entertaining! Very well done. 

  13. Medeia Sharif on August 1, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I love your challenge post, both how it's in verse form and that it involves history. 

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      When the flash fiction didn't work out, poetry was the other option that came to mind. Thanks Medeia!

  14. Lexa Cain on August 1, 2014 at 4:33 am

    That as a very clever poem! You really did your research – great job! Wishing Elizabeth much success! 🙂


    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      A confession: poetry was my first love… but has since been ousted by flash fiction. Thanks Lexa!  🙂

  15. Nick Wilford on August 1, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Very educational poem! I also admire historical fiction writers, although History was my favourite subject at school, I fear I would get swamped in all the research. And intertwining a narrative with genuine events is no mean feat.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      I agree! A narrative plus genuine events? *phew* It's like double work…

  16. Tonja Drecker on August 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    1865 was a packed year. I love these history splurged. They're always amazing…plus, it's great to learn something. Lovely idea!

  17. S.P.Bowers on August 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I love the cover, and the book sounds great. Congrats Elizabeth!


    Impresive poem. That was a busy year. 

  18. Chrys Fey on August 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    There is so much history in this poem. I love it! You did a great job rhyming words. I would've struggled with the line before "Joseph Lister". Well done!

    • Michelle Wallace on August 5, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      It did take me a few attempts to whip those 2 lines into shape… 🙂

  19. Morgan Shamy on August 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Wonderful, Michelle! Loved it!!!

    And love Liz! So proud of her and her book—can't wait to read!!! 

  20. Pat Hatt on August 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Bet it required some research indeed, nicely done and nice flow too at your feed

    • Michelle Wallace on August 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Thank you! I don't know how you do it, day in and day out. Even though I LOVE rhyming verse, it does tend to take its toll on the 'grey matter'   🙂

  21. Christine Rains on August 5, 2014 at 2:12 am

    This was awesome! 🙂

  22. Trisha on August 5, 2014 at 4:41 am

    What I find fascinating about historical fiction (or even current-day fiction) is that you could take one tiny event which occurred on one little day, in one hour, in one split second too, and weave an entire story out of it.

    There is so much potential for storytelling across all of history. It boggles the mind. 😉

    • Michelle Wallace on August 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      I agree. Even during the research for this poem, I stumbled upon so many juicy tidbits of information! 🙂

  23. C. Lee McKenzie on August 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Great entry in this launch. And you included The Jumping Frog. What is that about great minds? I believe it's true.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      I read your Twain contribution! Ha!

      Great minds…….  I like that!  <3

  24. Stephanie Faris on August 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I participated. It was a blast! Can't wait to read Bella's Point. I'm so far behind on my TBR list, I'll never get caught up.

    • Michelle Wallace on August 5, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      I need to check out your entry. My TBR list is crazy too. Tell me, does that list ever diminish….. probably not.

      Too many books, so little time.  🙂

  25. Jay Noel on August 6, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    WOW! You put a lot of work into that. Great job. And congrats to Elizabeth!

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