children's books · historical novel

The anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the battle of Fort McHenry, which was used in the ‘War of 1812’ (although this battle happened in 1814 – try not to get confused) to successfully defend Chesapeake Bay against a bombardment by the British Navy. I’m glad to report that, although there are wars in lots of other parts of the world, the war between the British and the US is now over.

My friend and US author Penny Estelle is back on my blog to tell us about her Wickware series of children’s books, which are a great way of learning about history, as well as being gripping adventures. I must say that this is a battle I didn’t know much about, so I’ve learned something new today. Thanks so much for coming by, Penny!


helena fairfax, penny estelle, wichware sagas
freedigitalphotos/michael elliott

September 13, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort McHenry and the writing of what would eventually become the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

But once again, historians have left out some important information. Sammy (Samantha) Brown, a 7th grader in Miss Wickware’s history class, played a key role in the whole process. Without her, Mr. Key may have never been on the boat that gave him a bird’s eye view of the whole battle which prompted the famous poet to….maybe you just have to read the story yourself.

Bumped Back In Time Book 4 of The Wickware Sagas. Take a look at

MuseItUp Publishing

Bumped Back in Time on Amazon

Penny Estelle’s Author Page


Here is an excerpt:

A full moon lit up the bedroom. Sammy lay on the feather mattress in the dark, staring at the ceiling. The window was wide open, a breeze stirring the curtains, though it did nothing to take away the mugginess of the night air. The nightgown Sarah had given Sammy was drenched with sweat and it stuck to her like a second skin.

She got up and walked to the balcony. Dr. Beanes had been right about his wife. Sarah had sat Sammy down and got her a bowl of left over wild turkey and boiled sweet potatoes, which she inhaled.

The older woman tisked her tongue and her head shook in sympathy, distressed at the poor girl’s story. “Your mother must be worried beyond penny estelle, helena fairfax, wickware sagasbelief,” Sarah said.

“Oh, I’m sure she’s freaking out all over the place,” Sammy snorted. “And like she’ll ever buy this story!”

“I don’t understand. You write stories to sell to your freakish mother?”

Sammy had to chuckle at that one. “No. She’s just going to kill me.”

Outraged, the woman came to her feet. “She will do no such thing. William will make sure that you are safe!”

Staring into the night, Sammy smiled at the memory. She had assured Sarah it was only a saying, but the woman did not seem convinced.

The sound of horses, riding up to the Beanes’ home, brought Sammy out of her reverie. At least ten men, all in red coats, jumped off their horses and headed toward the house.

A serving girl tapped on Sammy’s door before opening it. “Please ma’am, Mistress Beanes would like you to come to her room, quickly.” She turned to lead the way without waiting for a reply, Sammy, hurrying to catch up.

The scene that greeted Sammy when the bedroom opened had the hairs on the back of her neck, not only standing straight out at attention, but screaming “run…hide…wake up!” Goose bumps broke out on her sweaty body.

Dr. Beanes was sitting on a chair putting on his shoes while Sarah was wringing her hands and pale as the snow-white nightgown she was wearing.

Before Sammy could utter a word a BANG BANG BANG came from the door downstairs and that’s when all hell broke loose!

* * * *


Thanks to everybody for stopping by to take a look. Bumped Back in Time is the fourth story in the Wickware Sagas. There are five all together.

Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare

Ride of a Lifetime

Flash to the Past

Bumped Back in Time

Riches to Rags

These are all short, time travel adventures involving seventh graders in Miss Wickware’s history class. They must draw a name from a box and do an oral report. SOMEHOW, they end up back in time to get up close and personal with their drawn subject!

I also have a printed version of the Wickware Sagas. This can be found on Amazon

Due to the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner, MuseItUp is offering Bumped Back in Time for 99 cents for the first two weeks in September. Check it out at the Muse bookstore


Thanks so much for coming by, Penny. Loved the excerpt again, and have learned a lot about history today!

If you’ve enjoyed Penny’s excerpt, or have any questions or comments, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

8 thoughts on “The anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner

  1. Morning Helena. As always you put up a great post. Thanks a million for having me today. You are a wonderful support system for us authors!


  2. Ooh, I love this excerpt, Penny. Cleverly done and certainly makes me want to keep reading. Interesting to realize 200 years later an American author is a guest on a British author’s blog. So happy we are friends instead of enemies and can enrich each other’s lives. Best wishes on the latest addition to your series!


  3. Hey, Helena and Penny. I so love that your tour coincides with the anniversary of 9/11. That empowers the story of The National Anthem. I’ll be sharing. :)


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