(Revamping the blog. Please excuse the odd headings. Working on it!)

Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bread and Butter 01

Hoag Family Plot - Alabama Center Cemetery, Alabama, NY
Well I'm not so sure how non-fiction is going to work for Sunday Snippets but let's give it a go, shall we?

SETUP: (Alabama, NY) In November of 1855 Polly Hoag had her fortune told when her and her husband Henry attended an election party at the Alabama Hotel. She was told two members of her family would die, and she would not be one of them. Henry decides he wants to give up being a shoemaker and try farming. This meant they would be moving away from the conveniences of village life, her friends ... and someone else. We will begin in the spring of 1856 (which is somewhere in chapter 2).
As time passed, Polly's hostility towards moving to the farm increased.  Mrs. Potter testified during one of the trials that Polly had told her and another woman, Delia Avery, that she was sorry she ever got married.  Polly also relayed to the women that she wished she was clear of her husband and children. She did not care how she got clear of them, nor how soon; and that if it was not for them she could go anywhere she had a mind to.  Polly told the ladies that she would not care a bit if Henry should die; if he moved on the farm, as he was not healthy, he wouldn't live six months.

Why was Polly protesting so much? Henry would not find out the real reason until right before the move. The answer would not come from Polly, but from her then nine-year-old son Albert.

In 1856, in the rural town of Alabama, NY one woman's family suffered from multiple unexplained deaths. The town folk grew suspicious of the now remarried Polly Frisch. An investigation commenced, bodies were exhumed, an affair—exposed. Polly would be arrested for the murders of her first husband and daughters. Her fourteen-year-old son would testify against her. If found guilty, the punishment for such a crime was the gallows. Bread & Butter is the true story of Polly Frisch who poisoned her family with arsenic and the five trials it took to convict her. 

The link to the other Weekend Writing Warriors is here. You're bound to find something to pique your interest.

The Sunday Snippet writer's on Facebook are here. Between the two there is something for everyone. Thank you for any comments you leave me. Much appreciated!


The above excerpt is from Bread & Butter: The Murders of Polly Frisch, a book I co-authored with my friend, Ellen Bachorski. We are re-releasing it into the modern world of POD and Kindle, etc. It has had an edit make over and new info added. The copies of the first edition which we printed through Morris Publishing in 2000 are still available. You can see it over on the right in my blog. I did a mock up for the new cover below. What do you think?
Stay tuned for the release date of February 2014. Anyone have tips on how to do a blog tour let me know!



  1. Awesome! Are there any pics in the book, Cindy? With your excellent writing, you do paint a vivid picture.

    Good 8! (I do miss the Milk Carton Murders though) ;-)

  2. Thanks Teresa. Yes there are some pictures in the book. When this is done I'll be doing the edit finishes and Kindle etc. for MCM. :)

  3. Teresa is correct, it's a great snippet. I love reading historical non-fiction, especially when it's a book about a person the history books don't cover. Can't wait to put this on my kindle. Good luck with your edits and release!

  4. Such an interesting snippet and yes it creeps me out that's all true, lol. The cover is fabulous.

  5. I'm digging it. Psycho mama from the 1800's! Real life can be far crazier than fiction. Ready to download to kindle : )

  6. Wow, quite the chilling story and the fact that it's all true adds another layer of horror. Fascinating choice for today's snippet!

  7. ooo, non-fiction, gonna love this too :-) Perfect excerpt to pick, Cindy. Really looking forward to more of this.

  8. This sounds great! And I love the way you left us hanging with the snippet...

    Er, maybe "hanging" was a poor choice of words...

  9. Ooh interesting...Especially the last line about Albert. I'll be checking into this book. :)

  10. This works for me, not to worry. And where do many stories come from but real life? Thanks for an excellent taste of what comes next. Shivers here as to what evil lurks in the hearts of man/womankind.

  11. How interesting! I'm definitely intrigued by this story and looking forward to more.

  12. You've got my attention with this book.

  13. I reads like fiction - truth is stranger than fiction as we all know. My history teachers in school never made history live. but this snippet is alive and well

  14. Interesting true story. (I'm here, by the way; just forgot to sign up.)

  15. Scary true crime. I remember hearing about this story somewhere (possibly here?). It's crazy what people got away with sometimes--in this case, several murders before anyone caught on.

    And yes, all her complaints would sound suspicious, if anyone was paying attention. And clearly someone should have been!

  16. I adore historical true crime! And I like how Polly's voice seems to come through, even without dialogue.

  17. I don't understand how anyone could do this, but clearly it happened.

  18. This sounds fascinating. Sort of like Lizzy Borden.

  19. What an amazing story. Polly sounds like a real piece of work. Hard to imagine such a thing being true, fascinating.

  20. Wow! Fascinating. I'm hooked. Thanks for sharing!

  21. What a heavy & dark true story, gives me chills. You have my admiration for handling such a feat as retelling it.

    When you are ready to start your blog tour, give this page a look: http://ccepotourri.wordpress.com/be-part-of-the-potpourri-parlor/

  22. An intriguing new story there.

  23. Intense scene. I definitely felt her emotional state. Great snippet.

  24. I am sure there were many incidents and people who did things like this way back then that we never heard about. I bet a lot of people got away with murder, literally.


Anyone can comment. You don't need to jump through hoops or be a member of anything. Nice huh?

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

Barnes & Noble
The History Press

Carried by over 20 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
The Book Shoppe - Medina, NY

APRIL 16th, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble - Pittsfield, MA

APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
Seneca Iroquois National Museum - Salamanca, NY

May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

AUG 9TH, 7 pm Hoss's Country Corner -2016 Author's Night- Long Lake, NY

AUG 25TH 6 PM Akwesasne Cultural Center - Hogansburg, NY

More to announce as they are confirmed.

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Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch
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