The American Colonies have proclaimed independence from Great Britain. But as the sunset of 1776 approaches, General Washington struggles to survive the impending, bitter winter. He has only a shadow army of starving, ragged soldiers remaining. It seems the American Cause is ending.

Trapped and hopeless.

Hope is quickly waning for the colonies. The men are sick. Many lack even the most basic necessities, such as shoes, coats, and bread. Now there are only a few thousand who remain. The Continental Congress is heavily in debt and cannot send sufficient aid.

Rosanna escapes.

Once confident of her future, she found herself a common prostitute at the call of even the most vulgar of men. However, she reclaims her pride, escapes her master, and joins Washington's Army as a man. It is a cause she hates, but she has no alternative.

Rosanna masquerades into a perilous world.

Pretending to be a man is a dangerous game. Rosanna knows if she's discovered, she will be humiliated and thrown out of the army. It's an exciting risk she happily undertakes! However, in the face of cannon and musket in battle, Rosanna awakens to the reality of her decision. Yet, such perils only strengthen her resolve and defiance.

And then, just as Rosanna starts to adjust to army life, a young lieutenant discovers her sex! Only, instead of reporting her, the officer deals kindly with her. Realizing that the man may be attracted to her, Rosanna feels threatened. She has no intention of allowing romance. Men treated her horribly! How would this man be any different?

Winter arrives, bringing death for the Continental Army.

After being beaten back again and again, General Washington is uncertain how to reclaim victory. If the army does not win in some decisive battle, they will dissolve and The Cause will be ended. Rosanna finds herself afraid for them far more than herself. Her changing views of her country surprise her.

As his ragged, terrified collection of boys huddle at the bank of the Delaware River, Washington orders a perilous attack. His officers think him mad, but Rosanna revels in the impending danger. She may have joined to escape from her own circumstances, but she will stay now to the bitter end for the sake of The Cause!

... and for the lieutenant she confesses that she's grown quite fond of. At any cost, Rosanna promises she will protect him!

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Rosanna views the entire Cause with an air of disdain. It is the Continental Congress and her shortsighted parents that ruined all her potential future prospects for marriage and decent living. After her parents give their fortune to Congress, she spitefully leaves them. But a lady of good breeding and no practical skill has no value to anyone.

Rosanna has no money and discovers her connections have turned their backs on her, the daughter of traitorous Whigs.

Resentment in her heart festers as Rosanna turns to prostitution to survive. But she never loses her pride and, growing desperate to change her future, she finds an escape in the uniform of a murdered rebel soldier.

She has nothing to lose. Recklessly, she joins the rebel army. Almost immediately, Rosanna's shocked at the men: they're nothing but a band of filthy, diseased, weary boys! Many don't even have part of a proper uniform. But they display a patriotic fortitude she wasn't expecting and cannot understand. Rosanna begins to question her own petty, selfish resentment towards her parents and her country.

Despite the malnourished display before her, Rosanna decides to play her cards as a soldier. Only, during her first battle, Rosanna's shot. A Continental officer tends to her wounds and discovers she's a female. His decision not to report her only infuriates Rosanna, as she feels he will use his knowledge of her to his advantage. When the officer instead shows her patience and kindness, Rosanna tells herself she hates him. But it's not true.

As time passes and The Cause suffers terribly, Rosanna find herself further questioning her views and resentment against the freedom the men are fighting for. She discovers a brewing patriotism has begun to alter her views. She wants the destitute Continental Army to succeed and her country to be free! Her changing views cause her to question her decisions and even her own identity. Why is she truly here?

What is Rosanna really trying to prove to herself: that she can endure anything the men can, or that she truly cares about the American Cause?

READ REVOLUTIONARY ROSANNA

READER ADVISORY:
Age 13+ Action War Violence Sexual Themes Very minor use of language

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NOVEL QUOTES

"Unable to provide for herself, lost among the streets, poor and begging and starving, she had found the lot of a prostitute, but never had she imagined that she would be bought like cattle!" - Ch. 2

"As she chatted, her eyes would dart around the grand ballroom and she would take note of the wives of other men and wonder if being a wife and being a whore were much different. They were bought for their dowry. She was bought for her beauty." - Ch. 2

"Her heart pounded and her mouth grew dry. Tears pooled and trickled down her face for the boy who was too young to have left home, but had been so full of patriotism that he had blasted all odds and gone anyway. He had joined a cause he loved, knowing very well he could die." - Ch. 2

It is no secret that most of Washington's men are little more than underage vagabonds... Besides, what do you think those men would do to you if they discovered your sex?" - Ch. 4 (Colonel Chillon)

"You have five seconds, and believe me, sir, I will shoot you dead on even terms if you have not obliged me in that time. That is more than can be said for your conduct of that boy whom you killed so cowardly." - Ch. 4 (Rosanna Hall

"That, she realized, was why she felt so at peace with herself. Here, as a man, she owned herself, her honor, her dignity, her path. She was making her own choices and was at last their equal." - Ch. 5

"I know you are on the young side, lad. The best thing for you to do is to make friends fast. I hope you will do me the honor of considering me one of those, and in return, I will ensure to be the brother you need in this place." - Ch. 5 (Seth Bristow)

"General Howe—demonic bastard!—has run up behind us with some of them Hessian butchers. They already ran off Spencer's men, so Washington has so ordered us with Smallwood's Maryland boys to slow them up some on Chatterdon's Hill so the men can make a run for the Bronx. God help us!" - Ch. 6 (Soldier)

"The constant slashing of swords and accounts of musket fire weakened Rosanna's legs and her courage, but it was the glaze of red frosted atop the rich green grass that nearly overtook her." - Ch. 6

"However, she, feeling cold, realized her whole torso was exposed, minus her chest bindings. She instantly reached for the sheet to cover herself." - Ch. 7

"You forget, that though you are female, it is of no consequence. I am still your direct commanding officer in this army and you will respond to me or suffer the consequences. Do you think, because of your sex, that you will not be punished for your shocking deception?" - Ch. 7 (Lt. Anderson)

"... I could not bear the company of my mother, a staunch Tory in all hypocritical, nonsensical, foolish, and traitorous regard. Her disgust in our glorious striving caused me to love these colonies and this army more than I did previously." - Ch. 8 (Seth Bristow)

"My father was always a patriotic man. When the Sons of Liberty became a word in the streets like fire, he joined the truest of them... [and] he showered all his money upon the Continental Congress." - Ch. 8 (Rosanna Hall)

"My name is Rosanna Hall—and if you tell a soul, even a bird, I promise that I will cut your guts out. Do not think, that because I am female, that my father did not train me to use a sword well." - Ch. 9 (Rosanna Hall)

"You have disgraced me in the utmost embarrassing manner and likewise have humiliated and saddened my friend Peebel a great deal. You spoke thus before of my unmanly actions—but yours are the worse, from a woman's perspective!" - Ch. 10 (Colonel Chillon)

"I thank you for one thing, and that is, that if it had not been for you, I would have remained the same and never felt the things I do now, never have fallen in love with this cause. I am determined to be the victor! You will never win over me or this revolution!" - Ch. 10 (Rosanna Hall)

"Things do not have to be so tense between us, Ms. Rosanna. There are enough battles to last a lifetime in this affair. It would be best to agree on a truce between us, so we can relieve some little difficulties of our circumstances." - Ch. 11 (Lt. Anderson)

"Be what it may, I wash my hands of it. I did not come into this army riding on a carpet of righteousness and I make no pretenses to prance around as a saint." - Ch. 11 (Rosanna Hall)

"There was with that boy an absolute sense of understanding. He died courageously. For whatever his cause was for employing himself in this war, he believed in it firmly." - Ch. 11 (Rosanna Hall)

"What was living when he felt this way? Constant fear and doubt; entrenched, stubborn distress, but most of all, what he desired when he looked at that woman, how he wanted to kiss her lips—" Ch. 12

"My lowly opinion is that most any man of remarkable, negative character can redeem himself in this cause for liberty and freedom." - Ch. 13 (Seth Bristow)

"You are not that same person, Robin. To detail your events as you have done relates an honest, repentant heart. Do not abuse yourself further over your actions. Move past your regrets. Become the type of man you want to be. This is all anyone expects of you." - Ch. 13 (Seth Bristow)

"By God, woman! Will you not abandon this foolishness? I beg you not to indulge your arrogance any further. You have made your point concerning the abilities of your sex." - Ch. 15 (Mj. Anderson)

"We will trust General Washington. Washington will see us to the end. He will never abandon us. On the contrary, it has been his men that have left him." - Ch. 15 (Rosanna Hall)

"I asked, not because the possibility causes me to think negatively of you, but because I—I have affections for you, Rosanna." - Ch. 16 (Mj. Anderson)"

"... the major knew himself to be in love with a strong, independent, deeply passionate woman that had been braver than many of the men, stronger in spirit than a Goliath, one most worthy of good fortunes as any other person in the colonies." - Ch. 16

"So many things she had never imagined had been instructed to her through all the glories and agonies combined of battle, of fighting for one's liberty and freedom!" - Ch. 18

"Even to mistake a patriot as a rebel is a compliment, and my pleasure to be termed thus." - Ch. 18 (Rosanna Hall)

"What is a delicate curve of a woman's wrist and a timed dance to a tender, beating heart, to the hot blood in your veins and the open opinions and expressions of your face? My only hope is that you will be able to search your Heart and see if you could not, possibly, find a small corner somewhere to take me to you and love me." - Ch. 19 (Mj. Anderson)

"I am no more his lady than I am his mother. Colonel Chillon is a personally detested enemy I have been avoiding for a few months. I am his trophy and that is all, sir. With the greatest artifice, he and I play a game with the other." - Ch. 20 (Rosanna Hall)

"Private Pathe was silent with utter disbelief, bemusement, and some shade of admiration at a character as hers, so solid-minded and determined that her will alone would provide all preparations for her relief." - Ch. 20"

"The way to fight the British is not to meet them in the field. Secrecy and a vicissitude of silent, fast movements will be most effective. As reducing as this method may be to myself, to the men, and even, possibly, to you, major, I am not interested in surrendering our desire for freedom by agency of the proper approach to battles." - Ch. 21 (Gen. Washington)

"No, Rosanna. I have known thee as a man for too long, as my brother and my friend, to alter the feelings I have for you as kin, which are so natural to me now." - Ch. 21 (Seth Bristow)

"Our American cause will triumph. Do not delude yourself into thinking otherwise. My confidence is high, and yours obviously is not—along with your self-esteem, if I may be so bold to conclude." - Ch. 23 (Seth Bristow)

"There are horrors that even God must turn his face from in times of war. Both sides of this theater are guilty of terrible plunders, but that does not justify my conscious participation in them. I may have killed men in battle; I may have negatively affected hundreds by association of those actions; but outside of the field of war, to cause unnecessary pain is a sin I cannot comprehend." - Ch. 26 (Benjamin Pathe)

"I am sorry. It is just that—well, the army has been existing nearly without edible food of any type. We have been reduced, for some time, to survive off of fried flour and boiled bark." - Ch. 26 (Mj. Anderson)

"You did not need to be another man. If you had not lost what you claim to have had—innocence and gentleness and kindness—I could very possibly have loved you... in the way I do for Major Anderson, with my heart and soul and mind... May Christ embrace you and give you peace, Colonel Chillon, for you certainly had none in this life." - Ch. 26 (Rosanna Hall)

"You are a precious person to me now. Please, come be friend and kin to me. You will find an occupation of whatever you prefer in these colonies—these states—create a family and live freely! You will love liberty and freedom and the right of being equal to governors and business masters and statesmen." - Ch. 26 (Rosanna Hall)

"T'was a useless lad I was in England. Never could I finish education of any sort, be it arithmetic or tailoring or bookbinding or even chauffeuring. When I was just sixteen, my father had endured enough of my ignorant nature and posted me in the army without my consent." - Ch. 27 (Benjamin Pathe)

"Do not look so shocked, my girl. I am a doctor, and so considering that I see a lot of bodies in my profession, it was not difficult to observe by your, excuse this remark, contours, while you were in repose, that you were not male." - Ch. 28 (Dr. Radeon)

"First she kissed them, and then she kissed his lips, selfishly lingering to taste his sweetness. He reciprocated her love by clasping her coat tightly at the back." - Ch. 28

"My daughter, in breeches! How I would scold you for such a sin, but I cannot! The world is topsy-turvy as it is, and I cannot make sense of it any longer! Ah, these shocking tidings I must accept as they come." - Ch. 29 (John Hall)

"To know, to feel your flesh and hear your voice and see you well, I am alive in my soul! I will grow strong and conquer every difficulty, Rosanna." - Ch. 29 (Mj. Anderson)

"Return to war and die choking in your own blood and recall bitterly that you could have had the warmth and love of a woman who is more than able, and would have stood proudly with you through every trial and trouble. Is that not what marriage is? Through better or worse?" - Ch. 29 (Rosanna Hall)

"Oh, Seth! am overwhelmed! I am breathlessly happy. And how good it is to see you wearing the blue again!" - Ch. 30 (Rosanna Hall)

"Least to say, in all those qualities, I discovered a woman who had been born to rend the fibers of conventional restriction in our society. There could never be any other terms of marriage with you than to be equal in everything God has given us in this life." - Ch. 30 (Mj. Anderson)

... YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Is Revolutionary Rosanna part of The Libertas League?
Nope. Every now and then, I want to write about something else.
Why did you write Revolutionary Rosanna?
To be honest, I was very upset at the political climate at the time. I felt a sudden, very strong sense of alarm at the way America was going and wanted to highlight a time in our history that is often overlooked. In the least, this period of history is not very well-known. So, writing Revolutionary Rosanna was both a chore of passion and an obsession.
Who were you trying to reach with this book?
Women. Namely young women in their twenties and teenage girls. I felt that females these days know precious little about their American history; and those that do, don't know much of the knitty-gritty toils and hardships. I wrote this book so women would gain an understanding of how horrific the conditions were, but be able to do so by following a female character. In a way, I wrote this book to highlight the horrors of the War for Independence and included the plot secondarily.
Why is Rosanna often such an angry person?
Rosanna is somewhat an embodiment of how I felt when I was writing the book. Using her to vent (sometimes) was therapeudic for me. Though, she shouldn't be seen purely as a mirror for how I felt.
Why did you include sex in this book?
The sex, mostly only at the beginning of the story, is a method I used to shock the reader. I also didn't want to create a goody-two-shoes type of female, so I wanted to show that she was a selfish, petty, even immature type of person. I wanted to show how imperfect and foolish she was, that she got herself into such a horrible circumstance. It was really no one's fault but her own.
Is there more sex and/or swearing in this book?
Besides the sex in chapter 1, there's not much. However, later in the book, Rosanna is raped, but I don't go into lengthy detail about it. For language, there is a "damn" every now and then, and very few times, "bitch" or "bastard". But the language isn't a common occurance and I tried to use language the people of the time may have used in that regard.
Is this a book my child should read?
I seriously don't think so. There's slight language, some sexual content, and a good amount of battle carnage in this novel. I wouldn't let my child younger than 14 read this book, but that's up to you.
How come you wrote so graphically about the battle scenes?
I wanted to show the horrors of the American Revolutionary War to impress upon the reader how horrendous the war was, how awful the sacrifice. Americans know a lot about World War II and the American Civil War. But the Revolutionary War is often overlooked and the details are even less known. This book is my attempt to unearth a small bit of what the men and women went through to give us the freedom we have today.
What's your opinion of the British during the War?
Most of the British soldiers were good, patriotic men fighting for their country, or to escape jail time and penalties back home. I totally don't buy into the black and white Americans good and British bad picture. The Americans did some pretty horrible things to each other during the war, as did the British to the colonists. In many ways, your average British soldier was no more good or bad than your average American soldier.
Did you write Revolutionary Rosanna to bash on England during that time?
Absolutely not! The emphasis I attempted to convey is more an examination of the real truth of the matter: the American colonists were fighting for self-representational government, and in that vein, the right to "be free". England had it's own form of government at the time, and it worked well for them. It just didn't work that well for the colonies, since ~3,000 miles of ocean separated them. So a system that worked good for England couldn't for the colonies. That's all.
Will you write sequels?
Well, yes. In fact, I have the sequel largely written, but it needs some major plot re-writes... so we'll see.