Road Trippin’ with Tyndale and Heidi Chiavaroli: Stop #2

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Welcome to Tyndale Fiction’s Road Trip Scavenger Hunt! We’re so happy you are here. To participate, collect the key words through all 13 stops in order, so you can enter to win our grand prize giveaway.

Some details:

  • The adventure begins on Wednesday, August 1. You’ll have two weeks to make your way through all the stops (giveaways will close on Tuesday, August 14).
  • While you do not have to start at Stop #1, keep in mind that the grand prize giveaway phrase will begin with the word you collect at that first stop.
  • To complete your submission for the grand prize giveaway, be sure to collect the key word within each author’s blog post, submitting the final, completed phrase in the form hosted on this page
  • Also, be sure to enter the giveaways these authors are hosting on their blogs!

Enjoy the journey—we hope you’ll discover new books along the way as you hear from Tyndale Fiction authors about road trips, the settings of their novels, and more!

Happy road tripping!

I’m excited to be hosting my friend Heidi Chiavaroli on my blog today. Heidi’s latest release, The Hidden Side, is a poignant time-slip novel about two women centuries apart, bound by a journal and the secrets that haunt their lives. It depicts one of our country’s worst nightmares (a school shooting) and the birth of our nation during the Revolutionary War. Fans of the television show Turn will be drawn to Heidi’s historical storyline and her characters’ involvement in the Culper Spy Ring. Welcome, Heidi!


Patriot’s Rock – Setauket, NY

I have a thing for rocks.

Rocks, stone walls—anything that whispers of history, really. There’s just something about a rock with a past that makes me giddy.

On a research trip for my most recent novel, The Hidden Side, my family and I took a ferry to Setauket, New York, to see one such rock. Dubbed Patriot’s Rock, we glimpsed it a short distance from the main road. We walked toward it, eager to explore every nook and cranny, to imagine the history, to ponder the actual events that had occurred right in this place centuries earlier.

A quarter of a mile from Patriot’s Rock stood a proud, historic white church, steeple pointing to the sky. Two hundred forty years earlier, this place of worship had been taken over by an army loyal to the Crown. The occupying army cancelled services, ripped out pews, stabled their horses inside, and overturned gravestones in the cemetery to use as fortifications.

The Patriots would not stand for it. In what would become known as the Battle of Setauket, continental soldiers mounted a canon on the sturdy rock (which would thereafter be called Patriot’s Rock) and fired at the Loyalists who had taken over their church and their town.

My ideas always begin with history, but because I write time-slip fiction, the setting often plays a big part in tying the contemporary and historical stories of my novels together. In The Hidden Side, my historical heroine, Mercy Howard, is based on real-life historical Agent 355, a woman whose identity still remains a mystery—a woman who aided General George Washington’s Manhattan-based Culper Spy Ring.

Since historians now know that the members of this spy ring were largely based out of Setauket, New York, it made sense for me to begin my story in this Long Island community.

Now, standing beside Patriot’s Rock, I knew it would be an important part of my novel—and not just in the historical portion. Something significant would need to happen with my present-day characters here as well.

What happens at this rock would cause suffering for both my contemporary and historical characters. But like the real-life history behind it, all wouldn’t end there because hope would await; freedom would await.

There’s something powerful about weaving together the past with the present. Something almost sacred. Because although we have come a long way with technology, we hold much in common with those who lived before us when it comes to the inner struggles of the soul, when it comes to being human.

I love what I do. I love writing and researching history, exploring a story through setting and using history (or rocks!) to accomplish it. Above all, I love using these things to instill hope in my readers. To reach across the pages of a story to find the common need, the common thread that binds us together and, Lord willing, to speak into it by using not only the power of a story, but the power of hope.

Do you have a favorite time period in history? Or do you have a historical artifact or family heirloom that is meaningful to you?

Here’s the Stop #2 Important Information:

  • You can purchase Heidi’s book, The Hidden Side, here
  • Clue to write down: entertaining
  • Link to Stop #3, the next stop in the scavenger hunt, on Heidi’s Site!


Tyndale Road Trip

Did you miss my post? Navigate back to stop #1 at Francine Rivers’s site here.


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  1. Brenda Widener says:

    I am just now learning about the Culper Ring in a book series by Brad Meltzer. I love history and time slip stories, so I can’t wait to read your book!

  2. Kailey Bechtel says:

    I love the whole revolutionary/colonial America time period.

  3. Mary Tullila says:

    Ok my intrigue is now heightened !

  4. Karen says:

    I love the Revolutionary War era, but oh man. My inner genealogist is dying that they ripped out the gravestones! Ugh, not cool!

  5. Heidi Chiavaroli says:

    That’s so wonderful to hear, Brenda! I feel the same way. 🙂 Happy reading!

  6. Heidi Chiavaroli says:

    Right, Karen? I completely agree.

    Mary and Kailey, thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Sonnetta Jones says:

    This question always intrigued me. As a black woman I do not think any part of history has been favorable to us.

  8. Patrice Doten says:

    The Hidden Side sounds fascinating. Adding to my TBR list!

  9. Patrice Doten says:

    Yet, despite that, black men and women have marked history with remarkable and significant contributions!

  10. Winnie Thomas says:

    I love historical fiction, especially the Regency era, but I also have read so many wonderful novels set in other eras. Revolutionary era and WWI and WWII are favorites, too.

  11. Carrie says:

    We just drove through Colorado (and Denver! Albeit it was 10pm so we couldn’t see much 😉 on our cross country move! I love food and books and traveling, and have now put your book, Carla, on my list!!
    As well as Heidi’s book! I also LOVE history!!! This sounds like a great story!

  12. Carla says:

    Sorry you didn’t get to see the city…but I sympathize with the cross country move! We came to Denver from southern California with a one-year-old… it was an experience for sure.

  13. Lisa Hudson says:

    I’ve know a little about the Culper Ring & I find it intriguing. My favorite period is WWII. I think it’s because those people truly were “The Greatest Generation”. That was my Daddy’s generation and we are still blessed to be learning live lessons from him today. He is still living a full life at 93 though he misses our Mother something crazy! She stepped into the arms of Jesus 5 years ago. I had at least 4 or 5 Uncles in WWII – Navy & Army. I also had a Great Uncle that was a Navigator on a Higgins Boat on Omaha Beach on D-Day & 2 other Great-Uncles who were POWs in a German Camp. One spotted the other across the barbed wire fence & recognized his cocky little stance! That cocky uncle managed to ESCAPE & found American Soldiers. All of them survived!

  14. Alaina F says:

    I love the Renaissance period! Every year I enjoy dressing up and going to the Faires and Festivals. 🙂

  15. Heidi Chiavaroli says:

    Wow, Lisa! That certainly is some amazing history!

  16. Elizabeth Little says:

    I find I’ve had different favorite time periods over the years. Being in Colorado has given me a love for western romance. I grew up in the south so of course the civil war era has also been interesting. I find myself enjoying more modern settings right now.

  17. Mary Kay says:

    Your research is very interesting. I’m looking forward to reading The Hidden Side ~ I love historicals and also time-slip. Perfect for me.

    When my aunt passed away, my dad and I found a small set of leather bound books (a hymnal and Psalter) that an ancestor gave to his wife in the 1850’s. The print is tiny and difficult to read ~ but they are so special to me.

    Thanks, ladies, for participating in this scavenger hunt!

  18. Heidi Chiavaroli says:

    Thank you, Mary Kay! And wow, that sounds fascinating–I love that stuff! Just thinking about the stories behind our ancestors makes me giddy. 😉 Happy reading!

  19. Lisa Harness says:

    Any time in history, but gor some reason I’m always drawn to the Vietnam era.

  20. SARAH TAYLOR says:

    Sounds like a great book to read Love The Road Trip!

  21. Jessica says:

    I just started reading time slipped books this year, it’s very interesting to see how similar we are to people from the past. We all feel, hurt, and love. 💕

  22. Heidi Chiavaroli says:

    Jessica, YES! That’s what I love about telling time-slip stories. No matter how much our technology advances, we all battle the same inner struggles–we all share the human experience. LOVE that.

  23. Perrianne Askew says:

    Your books definitely make me love and understand history more. Thanks for what you do.

  24. Jake says:

    This sounds amazing! I’ve always loved the Revolutionary War Era.

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