Thursday, August 11, 2022



The Unveiling of Polly Forrest

by Charlotte Whitney


GENRE: Historical Mystery



Rural Michigan, 1934.

During the throes of the Great Depression Polly marries for money. After her husband Sam dies in a bizarre farm accident, new bride Polly assumes she is set to pursue her dream of opening a hat-making business. Instead, she becomes the prime suspect in Sam’s murder. Secrets abound and even Polly’s family can’t figure out the truth.



Sunday, August 19, 1934

Having no choice, I began climbing the exterior ladder that ran up the height of the silo. I got up five or six rungs before my fear of heights kicked in. My body started shaking and I willed myself not to look down. I kept putting one foot above the other. The towel around my wounded right arm had loosened and I let it fall to the ground, not wanting to remove my other hand from the rung.

Every step required my mind telling my arms and legs to move. My hands were jittering and I could hardly grip the ladder. You can do this, I told myself. You can. You can.

Keep going.” His voice was piercing.

I willed my feet to move up the ladder. My body convulsed. I was about five rungs from the top when I stopped. Reason told me I needed to quit shaking and get my body under control or I would fall. Then it occurred to me. He’s not going to push me into the soft silage. He’s going to knock me off the top of the ladder down to the hard earth.

Q: Ebook or Print and why?

A: For historical fiction I believe both Ebooks and print are both essential to my audience. I have readers who tell me they read exclusively in one category or the other. Also, audiobooks are now in great demand and I’m hearing from more and more readers that they prefer audio so that can listen while commuting to work or standing in line in the store or making dinner. I myself read all three formats. I like Ebooks for reading in bed, so I can turn off my light and not disturb my husband. I prefer paperbacks for traveling, so I don’t have to worry about spilling ice tea on my iPad or getting my tablet stolen if I put my book down at the beach. I love audio books for walking in general—getting out in nature, walking in the swimming pool, walking in the neighborhood.

Q: What is your favorite scene in The Unveiling of Polly Forrest?

A: I like the scene at church on June 24, 1934 where Wes is delivering a sermon.

For most of the people attending, they’ve witnessed their worlds crashing down on them. Polly is living under the specter of White House Police investigating her and her deceased husband which could lead to a lifetime prison sentence. Willard Dykstra has been jailed for stealing food to feed his family. John Newson is facing the loss of his farm at the same time his brother’s family is coming to live with him, because they also have lost their place. Looking out at the congregation Wes knows he has no fix for the very real problems all his parishioners are facing. But, he wants to lift up the congregation and asks that they each take a minute to count their blessings. John Newsom starts first and the rest follow. By the time they sing the last hymn, “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,” every face in the church is smiling. The takeaway: even amidst horrible deprivation and loss, you can find joy.

Q: In your publishing journey, what would you have done differently?

A: I took the “safe” route of working for a university in a series of administrative roles. Most of them were fun. However, writing is a real passion for me, and I like to think I would have started writing full-time much earlier than I did. It would be great to have twenty books behind my belt right now. But I tend not to look backwards. I’m happy with where I’m at in my writing journey and it’s going well.

Q: What group did you hang out with in high school?

A: I hung out with the smart kids. I really liked high school and there was no stigma being a straight A student. Our class was a bit different than others at my high school. We attended many events as group and including a few more kids was always an option. It was great for new students who otherwise might have been a little lost.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Charlotte Whitney is the author of historical fiction set during the Great Depression in the rural Midwest. Her most recent work, The Unveiling of Polly Forrest, a stand-alone historical mystery follows her groundbreaking novel, Threads A Depression-Era Tale, which was met with both critical acclaim and commercial success.  She received a master’s degree in English at the University of Michigan, and after a short stint of teaching at two community colleges, worked at the University of Michigan where she was an associate director of the Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts. Currently living in Arizona with her husband and two dogs she enjoys hiking, bicycling, swimming, and yoga.

Author’s website:

Amazon Author Page:

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