For immediate release
Thunder Beneath My Feet
By Carolyn Mulford
Portrays 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes
The first earthquake struck about 2:30 a.m. on December 16, 1811. In New Madrid, Missouri Territory, brick houses and chimneys turned into rubble. Log cabins caught fire. Tall trees split up the middle. The Mississippi River reversed its flow. Lakes formed. Many residents feared the end of the world. In coastal cities, church bells rang. In the White House, the motion woke President Madison. That was just the beginning. Quakes and aftershocks persisted for months.
In Thunder Beneath My Feet, a historical novel for tweens, teens, and anyone who enjoys history, award-winning author Carolyn Mulford tells how a courageous teenage girl copes with the ongoing destruction and the diverse frontier community’s reactions to it.
Shy, sensible 15-year-old Betsy Lawton takes charge of tale-telling10-year-old Johnnie and the family farm when their mother rides south to nurse her husband. Four days later, the first of the powerful quakes and the severe aftershocks wreak such destruction that many residents become refugees. Betsy stays on the farm to contend with the unending shocks and shakes, an unknown thief, and disapproving neighbors. She must succeed to save herself, Johnnie, the farm animals, and four secretive strangers—a French-Shawnee youth, a mute slave woman, a poor French tutor, and his elegant Spanish wife.
The author says, “The New Madrid earthquakes have fascinated me since I wrote an account for a reading textbook. Although I grew up in northeast Missouri, I hadn’t known that some of the country’s most powerful earthquakes centered in southeast Missouri. And may come again.”
A former magazine editor and freelance writer, Mulford worked on five continents before making the transition to fiction. The Missouri Center for the Book selected The Feedsack Dress, her novel set in 1949, as the state’s Great Read at the 2009 National Book Festival. She also writes a contemporary mystery series for adults. The Missouri Writers’ Guild gave Show Me the Murder its 2014 Major Work Award and Show Me the Gold its 2015 Best Book Award. The fourth book, Show Me the Ashes, will be released in March. The books feature an ex-spy who returns to her hometown and adapts her tradecraft to solving murders.
To read the first chapters of her books and to download cover photos, go to http://CarolynMulford.com. To request an interview or presentation, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-445-0829.
Thunder Beneath My Feet, Rocking Horse Publishing, St. Louis, 2016, 188 pp.
$12.95 (paperback), $4.95 (Kindle)