Guest Strumpet: Jannine Gallant & Puritan Fun Facts!

Welcome Guest Strumpet Jannine Gallant! Her Tea of Choice: Passion Fruit. 


My historical romance, An Uncertain Destiny, is set in Salem, Massachusetts during the infamous witchcraft trials, a turbulent time in our nation’s history. Over twenty innocent people lost their lives in what amounted to an epidemic of fear. But the Puritans weren’t all about fire and brimstone, predestination and living an austere existence. Actually, there are quite a few misconceptions about this group of forefathers. Here are a few fun facts:

1) Puritans had celebrations and festivals but they didn’t celebrate either Christmas or Easter.

2) Singing and storytelling was allowed–but no hymns in church. Too distracting.

3) Children were allowed to play games.

4) Puritans did not dress in all black.

5) Beer and wine were commonly consumed.

6) Puritans (including women who were definitely second class citizens) were well-educated. Towns of 50 or more families were required to have a public school.

7) The common welfare of the community was put ahead of self-interest. Unemployment was virtually unheard of.

I tried to mix the horror of the witch hunts with the very real humanity of Salem’s residents in my book. Historical characters rub shoulders with fictional ones. I hope everyone who read An Uncertain Destiny will find it an interesting and entertaining mix!

In an un-Puritan-like move, let’s kick up our heels and enjoy a cup of passion fruit tea! I’d like to thank the Strumpets for having me today.

Thank you, Jannine! And to whet your appetites, here’s an excerpt from Jannine’s book, An Uncertain Destiny.

An Uncertain Destiny

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Haunting visions have plagued Megan Pendrake for years, a dire promise of a turbulent future. When Megan and her brother are forced to flee England aboard a ship bound for the colonies, trouble looms. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts is a hotbed of suspicion and persecution where the mere hint of witchcraft is a death sentence. Remaining in Salem is courting disaster, but Megan’s heart won’t allow her to leave the man she has grown to love.

Nicholas Thayer is mesmerized by the beautiful, unconventional young woman who boards his ship posing as a cabin boy. But his future is predetermined, including a fiancée waiting for him at home. When Megan faces inconceivable peril, Nicholas must make the ultimate choice between family and faith or a love he can’t deny. But will he be able to save them both from An Uncertain Destiny?


Behind her, the door opened. Nicholas caught her against his chest as she staggered backward. “What’s going on, Hunter?” He raised his voice to be heard over the rumbling of the crowd.

Megan leaned against him. A deafening hollowness rang in her ears, muting their angry words. Elsa stood front and center behind Caldwell. In the crowd were a number of faces she recognized, men and women she’d spoken to in church. Their eyes shone with unholy excitement as they stared at her. Trembling, she pressed tighter against Nicholas, and his arms wrapped around her.

“We’re arresting that little witch you’ve been harboring, that’s what. I have a court order.” Caldwell pointed to a tall, thin man hovering at his elbow. “This is Simon Jones. The magistrate sent him to bring her in.”

“For God’s sake, think about what you’re doing, man.” Nicholas glanced around at the crowd. “Megan’s no witch.”

“She’s put a spell on you, blinding you to the truth. You may not see it, but the rest of us do.” Caldwell stepped forward. “Turn her loose. This man has a job to do.”

“But she’s innocent.”

“She’ll have her say in court.”

Nicholas’ chest heaved. “I won’t let you take her.”

His grip tightened until Megan could barely breathe. Simon Jones approached with a set of chains dangling from his hands. When Nicholas tensed, fists clenching, she pulled away.

“I’ll go with them. It’s better this way.”

“Megan, no!”

His pained cry tore at her flimsy composure. Cold steel clamped around her wrists, biting into her flesh and bruising her to the bone. Dazed, she stared at the shackles before turning to look at the people hovering on the doorstep behind Nicholas. Richard’s mouth tightened in a hard line as he gripped his son’s arm. Charity and Sarah cried softly, holding onto each other. As Jones tugged her across the yard, she glanced back over her shoulder a final time. Nicholas fought against his father’s hold, his face drained of all color.

Wrenching away, he charged after her. “I’ll have you back home with me where you belong before the night is over. I swear it. By God, I’ll make the magistrates listen to reason!”

Giving in to fear and despair, Megan sobbed uncontrollably as the mob closed around her.









19 thoughts on “Guest Strumpet: Jannine Gallant & Puritan Fun Facts!

  1. Thanks for sharing your insight. I love that education was important to them as a community, and how they seemed to expect their community then to be well-educated. This is based on their lack of song during church services, and instead focus was placed on the teachings. For this to be appreciated, the members of the community and congregation had to have a good measure of comprehension. Great post!

  2. They were definitely focused but not single-minded–the witch hunts being an exception. I studied the Puritans in college and found the group to be complex and goal oriented. They had more success than many of the other colonies, which is probably a result of these qualities.

  3. Thanks for dropping in, Jannine and for bringing that Passionfruit tea. Yum! I got a chuckle from your title for the post. I would have never thought of putting together “puritan” with “fun” but you did, and they were! Also, big yum on that excerpt. I’ve always thought how horrible it must have been to be falsely accused and you draw it up nicely. Or IS she falsely accused? Hmmm, guess I’ll definitely have to read the book. Thanks again for stopping by to dish with us!

    • Happy to be here! I think there could be a whole debate about the definition of false. By Puritan standards, Megan was probably a whole lot more guilty than many of the other women arrested. Did she do anything deserving of imprisonment? By our standards, no. It’s all in the perception.

  4. Hi, Jannine – I love history and find that period of American history fascinating. I keep thinking how horrific it must have been to be accused of witchcraft for the simplest thing. Did you ever watch the TV show “Salem”? If so, did you find it accurate? (“Uncertain Destiny” sounds fantastic!)

    • I haven’t seen “Salem”, Leah, but I sure wish I had. Most of my research came from an intensive history class I took in college about the Puritans. However, I have been to Salem. Very cool!

      • I watched the first three or four episodes of “Salem,” but stopped when the plot started to get into more paranormal (or supernatural) stuff. Like this man and a frog…. (If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. UGH.) Can’t wait to read your book, Jannine!

    • Thanks, Elvy. I chose the images for the cover, and a graphic artist friend put it together for me. I love it, too.

    • Yep, the Puritans were far more “normal” than most people think! Normal being a relative term, of course…

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