Blog Tour “The Loyalist Legacy” by Elaine Cougler



Rebellion in Upper Canada: Real and Fictional Characters

My first introduction to Bishop Strachan was many years ago as I was taking teacher training in preparation for becoming a high school teacher. Each day our group sat in a large lecture hall and listened to the person at the front extol the virtues of yet another early educator in Ontario. As the days went on my interest in these paragons waned. Strachan was one of those who seemingly did no wrong.

Fast forward many years. During the research for The Loyalist Legacy, the third book in my trilogy, I found the Bishop Strachan of Ontario legend, the man with countless buildings and colleges named after him and who did so much to form Upper Canada College, but I also found many negative references, the kind of nuggets a writer loves to discover.

This allowed me to use the illustrious bishop as a villain in Legacy, a type of character every writer needs to add punch to a story. Of course I may have stretched the truth just a little as that’s where the fiction in Historical Fiction comes in, but the fact remains Strachan’s privileged group caused a lot of problems for the settlers, Loyalists or not. The “Family Compact” got its derogatory name because those in power simply appointed their relatives and friends to important positions charged with the running of the fledgling country. That meant the common people had no say, a circumstance that became more and more dangerous as factions arose to thwart the “Family Compact”.

In the excerpt below from The Loyalist Legacy, William’s brother Robert is in a hotel when anger at the government comes to a head:

“Quiet, men! Cease and desist!” Someone near the bar struggled to be heard, with no success. The lean man jumped up onto the long bar, much to the barman’s consternation, and shouted again. This time he stomped his boot on the bar and the barman hollered; the room went silent as all eyes turned to watch. “Gentlemen.” The man’s glance included everyone packed into the room. “You’ve come here today for one reason. One reason only.” He paused, nodding his close-cropped head and gathering his thoughts. “You’re tired of our government’s power over us all. You’ve had enough. And you want to do something to break their hold on us.”

“Whose hold?” A voice came from off to Robert’s right, back in a corner, but he couldn’t see who it was.

“Ah, you want a name?”

Many voices answered back. The young man raised his rough hands for silence. “Well you know it…the Family Compact.” Again he raised his arms and waited. “That group in York and parts east who control everything we do. They only want us for the sweat and toil we give to shape this land.” Shouts of agreement broke his stride but soon he continued. “What do they give us, those powerful rich bastards?”


“No say in our lives.”

“And how do they make our lives miserable?”

“Clergy lands!”

“Empty lots!”

“No help on the roads!”

“Our own preacher can’t even marry us!”

“And does this group of rich and powerful men, this Family Compact, listen to us?” He raised his arms to silence the crowd. “No. Our elected members might as well stay home and tend their crops, do their road work and raise their children. Nothing they decide is final. Their votes mean nothing. The Family Compact just do what they want, regardless of the Legislative Assembly.” He paused in the ensuing clamor. When the noise threatened to take over the meeting again, he stamped and roared for attention once more and gradually the heated voices subsided.

Robert and Logan looked at each other and at the man with them. His face was beaming as he studied the groups all over the room, even rising from his chair the better to see everyone. Robert didn’t know whether to be shocked or delighted that so many gathered here agreed with his own sentiments. He could hear their stories around him as each person shouted out his own troubles with the powerful reach of the government.

“Down with the King!” A voice louder than all the rest temporarily stopped the racket as men looked to identify the speaker.

Into the sudden quiet another voice, high and thin, squeaked out over the heads of the red-faced men. “Rebellion!”

Excerpt from The Loyalist Legacy.

When the War of 1812 is finally over William and Catherine Garner flee the desolation of Niagara and find in the wild heart of Upper Canada their two hundred acres straddling the Thames River. On this valuable land, dense forests, wild beasts, disgruntled Natives, and pesky neighbors daily challenge them. The political atmosphere laced with greed and corruption threatens to undermine all of the new settlers’ hopes and plans. William cannot take his family back to Niagara, but he longs to check on his parents from whom he has heard nothing for two years. Leaving Catherine and the children, he hurries along the Governor’s Road toward the turn-off to Fort Erie, hoping to return in time for spring planting.

With realistic insights into the challenging lives of Ontario’s early settlers, Elaine Cougler once again draws readers into the Loyalists’ struggles to build homes, roads, and relationships, and their growing dissension as they move ever closer to another war. The Loyalist Legacy shows us the trials faced by ordinary people who conquer unbelievable hardships and become extraordinary in the process.


Praise Elaine Cougler’s writing: 

“….absolutely fascinating….Cougler doesn’t hold back on the gritty realities of what a couple might have gone through at this time, and gives a unique view of the Revolutionary War that many might never have considered.”

Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews.


“….an intriguing story”                                              A Bookish Affair


“I highly recommend this book for any student of history or anyone just looking for a wonderful story.”

Book Lovers Paradise


“Elaine’s storytelling is brave and bold.”                     Oh, for the Hook of a Book





elaine-low-resABOUT THE AUTHOR:







Elaine Cougler can be found on Twitter, Facebook Author Page, LinkedIn and on her blog at


Author Spotlight – Elaine Cougler


Elaine_CouglerBorn and raised in the heart of Southwestern Ontario’s dairy country, Elaine is a graduate of Western University and a former high school teacher. She taught French, English and Computer Studies at various schools across the province. Writing is Elaine’s pleasure and her obsession. She has written two books of family memories, a cookbook, a children’s book, and her two historical novels: The Loyalist’s Wife, which was published in June of 2013, and the sequel, The Loyalist’s Luck, launched in October, 2014. She is currently working on the third in the Loyalist trilogy, The Loyalist Legacy. The Loyalist’s Wife was shortlisted in the Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Self-Publishing Awards. A lover of people and especially writers, Elaine is the winner of the 2014 WCDR Pay It Forward scholarship and delights in speaking to groups large and small. Her teaching skills make her a natural at leading workshops on writing, speaking on various related topics, and answering the questions of book club readers. On Becoming a Wordsmith is Elaine’s writing blog where she writes about the journey to publication and beyond.


  • When did you start writing?

I started writing in Grade 5 with a straight pen, a dipping inkwell and a blotter to clean up the mess. Oops! I think you mean when did I start WRITING? Sorry. I was creative as a child and received a lot of encouragement from my Grade 12 English teacher but I didn’t really start on my current path until I left teaching. My son said to me, “If not now, when?” and I started writing novels. 


  • What motivates you to write?

I love words. I love juggling them, softening them, slicing through them and making people cry with them. No, I’m not a masochist but humans seem to internalize ideas more if those ideas touch emotions. To write like this touches my own emotions. 


  • What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am currently writing the third book in my Loyalist trilogy (historical fiction) which carries a family through the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the chaos in Upper Canada (Ontario) leading up to the Rebellion of 1837. Writing the stories of real and fictional people against the backdrop of history helps me internalize those struggles of my own ancestors. That these events actually happened makes the stories seem more real to me. Hopefully, my readers feel the same. 


  • What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Just now my goal is to finish the trilogy! So far this has been a nine-year journey from inception to publication of the first two books. I want to write well but I mostly want to tell a good story. My readers often tell me I keep them up at night because they can’t put my books down. This fulfills my writing dreams for now. Of course, there may be new ideas percolating in the back of my brain. I always like to be planning. 


  • Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Every writer, depending on how they define writer’s block, suffers from it in some measure. I never stare at the proverbial blank page wondering what to write. I do, however, struggle to just write and not worry how great my words are or even if they’ll survive editing. One way I keep going is to reread my pages from the day before, massaging and seeing if the words flow, and that just gets my head back into the story and the history so that continuing the writing often just happens. Learning to accept that my words may not be perfect and that’s okay has been a freeing concept for this perfectionist!  


  • What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Listen to everyone’s advice for a good long time and then, once you’ve studied and learned and gained the chops, trust your own judgement. You know what you’re trying to achieve. Go for it! 


  • Please, tell us about your work.

Here’s a paragraph from the back cover of The Loyalist’s Wife which shows my heartfelt themes and my reason for writing:

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles. 


Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Connect with Elaine Cougler



Twitter:        @ElaineCougler


Blog:               “On Becoming a Wordsmith”




Elaine’s Books

The Loyalist's Wife_cover_Apr19.indd








The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd



Creative Blogger Award


I am so proud that I got my first award for my blog. Thanks 1000 times to Patricia Garcia for nominating me. It is such an honor for me to humbly accept.


Please, visit her blog. Pat Garcia is an amazing writer, a great musician and a wonderful warmhearted person.

Rules for The Creative Blogger Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
4. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.

According to the rules, I should list five facts about myself, so here goes:

  1. I am in fact a natural blonde.
  2. I love reading and found out that there are amazing indie authors out there.
  3. I enjoy playing little practical jokes, but make sure nobody will ever be hurt or humiliated, I want to make people laugh, not cry.
  4. There are moments I’m that deep inside my story I have a hard time focusing after my return into the real world.
  5. Whenever I have time, I listen to the sound of nature. It takes me back to the important things.

Now for my nominees:

  1. Allan Krummenacker
  2.           Sharla Shults
  3.            blondieaka
  4.                              Shiley McLain
  5.        Elaine Cougler


Should you decide to accept the nominee please list the five rules in your post.

Again, thank you, Patricia Garcia, for making this first award so exciting for me!

Warm regards

A. J. Alexander