Dana Vacca

Author of Freedom Calling: A Civil War Slave Escapes By Sea

The Exciting & Unforgettable Story

An epic journey to freedom...

A tall ship, sea-faring, battlefields of Virginia, danger, suspense, perilous escapes, a forbidden romance - change the life of a run-away slave, forever.

Book cover: Freedom Calling


Author photo

After retiring from teaching, Dana Vacca now spends most of her time writing short stories, poetry and novellas and restoring and selling antiques. She says unraveling the story of an intriguing antique piece is like time-traveling back to another era. Researching an old heirloom brings history to life. It feeds and inspires her writing as her imagination takes over and fills in the blanks.

Having been born in the North, but living almost half her life in the South, she always found the people of the Civil War era a fascinating subject to explore. That time, packed with emotional, social and economic upheaval, is complicated to understand and its impact still influences the American present.

Dana Vacca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College. She taught visual media and design at the college level. She has illustrated children's books but also loves to paint with words to create exciting adventure, vivid imagery and compelling characters in her creative writing and fictional works.

She is now living again in coastal New England with two dogs who are her faithful companions and biggest fans.

News & Events


  • Publish Date: Feb. 28, 2020!

Book cover: sequel to Freedom Calling

Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia has just surrendered. Less than a week later, President Lincoln has been assassinated. The Rebels may have been defeated, but they have not given up the fight.

As the country is struggling to heal from fresh wounds, two emancipated slaves, Daisy and Celia, are trying to heal from old ones. Together, they leave the protection of Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp and begin their journey north.


Celia is hoping to return to the life she had left behind in the sea-faring village of New Bedford. Daisy is stepping into a new and unfamiliar world and hoping to find a promising future. Both of them are optimistic but fearful of the unknown that lies ahead.

Bitter Confederates still roaming the countryside are not all that spell danger for the two of them, and the obstacles they must overcome are not all found south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Their journey becomes one, not only of miles, but of enlightenment.

Over land, by wagon, and aboard a sailing ship at sea, history comes to life in this exciting historical novel full of action, adventure, and romance.

The lives of Captain MacGregor, Celia, Daisy and Enapay are touchstones to humanity and re-define the meaning of freedom and liberty for all.

Their saga is a page-turner filled with authentic, accurate history that is wound with violent loss and strong bonds of love that plumb the depths of heart and soul.


Dana Vacca is a master storyteller with an uncanny knack of weaving historical fact into a captivating plot, carrying her characters through a perilous journey, on to a place of love, hope and restoration. A compelling read! - Elaine Brogno, Author and Copy Editor

I eagerly awaited The Edge Of Freedom, the sequel to the exciting book, Freedom Calling. Dana Vacca’s intriguing tale of escaped slave, Celia, and her captain continues in this second book of the series. A compelling novel rich with characters and history. - Marty Pena, children’s author & illustrator

Freedom Calling and sequel, The Edge of Freedom is a great historical fiction series! The characters come alive on the page as the story unfolds. Dana’s work has that feel that puts the reader on this journey right along with them. I cheered for Celia all the way! Highly Recommended. - Dennis Dillon, author


Freedom Calling

The Exciting & Unforgettable Story by Dana Vacca

An epic journey to freedom...

A tall ship, sea-faring, battlefields of Virginia, danger, suspense, perilous escapes, a forbidden romance - change the life of a run-away slave, forever.

Not just another Civil War novel! This inspiring story will make you re-think your own definition of freedom, morality and humanity. A perilous sea voyage, a New Bedford whaling ship, Virginia's Dismal Swamp, and the war-ravaged South test the determination and willpower of two escaped slaves who struggle to overcome tribulation, conquer hardship and prevail in the face of adversity.

This is a book you won't want to put down!

Book cover: Freedom Calling

Buy Freedom Calling at your preferred retailer today

Praise for Freedom Calling

"Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, Dana Vacca's moving novel is much more than a treatise on the horrors of slavery; it is in a deeper sense an exploration into the meaning of freedom and love and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.

Vacca's action-packed tale is told with eloquence and in exquisite detail."

David Christner, Author & Playwright

"I loved this book! It is a compelling story beautifully told through the voice of the escaping slave girl Celia with dialogue and events that ring true to the era of the Civil War. I'll never forget Celia and sea captain Eben MacGregor.

With this first novel Dana Vacca has established herself as a master storyteller and she leaves me hungry for the promised sequel."

D.S. Cooper, Author

"Sometimes one comes across a book serendipitously that shatters all expectations. This is one such book.

This is well written, meticulously researched, and multi-layered; the characters complex and subtle. The backdrop is the Civil War, but from a standpoint of how it affected the lives of people not merely a recounting of the war itself."

R. Casci, Reader

Dive inside Freedom Calling

Watch the trailer:

Images which evoke the novel's setting:

Sequel to Freedom Calling

Coming soon.

Book cover: sequel to Freedom Calling

Contact Dana

For any media inquiries, please contact me, Dana Vacca.

Email me at: dv411@earthlink.net