Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2017

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

Available on Amazon 31 August!

 

The black water swirled around me, my hair floating atop like silk. My body, though, had vanished in the depths beneath me. I was floating along on the river but didn’t seem to be moving. I felt more than heard fish swimming. Snakes slithered across me but didn’t seem to notice me. Alligators hissed and growled next to me and I was sure one would bite my head off. If my body was even there.

The darkness was as tangible as the water; neither stars nor moon evidenced above. Trees stood silent sentinel and Lissette appeared in their naked branches. She was evanescent, a filmy representation of herself, eyes vacant, hair black as… Pearl’s. I had never noticed how Pearl looked like Lisette. Her hands were as the branches on the trees and her legs were shrouded by a billowing swirling gray gown.

The silence was maddening. More maddening even than my inability to move. I only saw movement about me—Simone was suddenly by my side, sitting in a chair and talking to someone I couldn’t see. The chair didn’t float but sat squarely on the surface of the water.

Pearl was running along a path that followed the river, going nowhere as I was. But Pearl wasn’t Pearl; she was a boy. Dressed in white knickers and black boots, her hair was gone, cut short.

I struggled to be released from… from what I didn’t know. I was not bound by tethers or ties, but neither could I move. If my body was even with me any more.

My eyes riveted to the wall of the church, Saint Allyons, that rose at water’s edge. Scarlett looked directly at me as she plunged into the depths and disappeared. Then she suddenly was atop the wall again, leaping—or did she fall?—into the midnight water. Like a carnival ride, she was on the wall—she didn’t climb, she was just there—again and again.

I felt my body shift and felt pains of labor. But my womb produced nothing. The trees became burning walls. Lissette stood beyond the flames and pointed at me, accusing, but no one else was there.

 

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Excerpt, Mercedes’ Dream, Release Feature, Seasons Book 1

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 22 August 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE FEATURE – BOOK REVIEW – A HEART RESTORED by ELIZABETH MADDREY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – A HEART RESTORED by ELIZABETH MADDREY

Who better to share your dating woes with than your best friend? Who better to compare online dating profiles with? And the dates as a result of online dating?

 

Lia Promise’s love life has been stagnant as yesterday’s IV. With no prospects in sight, Lia takes to online sites. And ropes her bestie in for the ride.

 

But Maverick Hoyt doesn’t feel the need-for-speed, and goes along to make Lia happy. That’s what best friends do, right?

 

As they compare notes, and with one bad date after another, will they realize true love has been right in front of them all along? Will they step aside from their own methods and take a look at the hand of God—and what He just might have been up to all along?

 

 

What a fun and adorable story! Watching the friendship between Lia and Maverick, I felt like I was at the next table at the diner, overhearing (not eavesdropping, never eavesdropping) their conversations. Each week as they commiserated, I could feel the frustration mounting. I wanted to punch more than one mouthy date in the nose, and I wanted to offer my shoulder to cry on. I sensed hearts turning and love blooming—and the resistance to it. I laughed as they laughed and watched, from my table in the corner, as love settled—over one of them.

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

 

 

 

http://www.elizabethmaddrey.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey/

https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Maddrey/e/B00A11QGME/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_5

https://twitter.com/elizabethmaddre

                                                

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, A Heart Restored, Elizabeth Maddrey, Love at First Laugh

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Monday 21 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – COVER REVEAL FINAL COVER

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – COVER REVEAL FINAL COVER

 

Available on Amazon 31 August

 

Isn’t she beautiful!!!

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons, Cover Reveal, Final Cover

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Monday 21 August 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE FEATURE – GUEST POST – PEPPER BASHAM

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – PEPPER BASHAM

 

Britallachian romance peppered with grace and humor.”

 

 

I love a good romance, whether it’s set in an Edwardian era manor house or a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

 

Servants in the grand houses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries worked hard—and by hard, I mean their diligence, work hours, and lack of recognition could only be somewhat compared to a mother of triplets.

 

Servants performed the grunge work—the thankless activities—many times starting before dawn and ending after dark. The jobs of Victorian and Edwardian era servants were relentless, and to really become someone of high rank in a household…well, it usually took a lifetime.

 

In most aristocratic households, the servants walked about ‘unseen’ by the family, unless they were upstairs staff such as butlers, housekeepers, lady’s maids, and footmen, as well as governesses/nannies. The lord and lady of the house were raised to only acknowledge them if absolutely necessary and the below stairs servants were not to initiate conversations with the family unless specifically requested.

 

Television adaptations like Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey give us a glimpse into this ‘underbelly’ of downstairs, but their portrayal is much more glamorous than actuality. Mutual respect between servants and families was not necessarily a common theme.

 

Before the break of day, servants completed a massive pile of chores to ensure every need of the family was met.

  • raked and laid out the fires in the fireplaces
  • open shutters in the rooms where the families would gather
  • made certain each room was straightened up from any disorder from the previous day
  • dusted (including cleaning the floors and carpets)
  • empty chamber pots (if the house did not have indoor plumbing yet)

 

And then the servants might have a chance to eat their breakfast.

 

Throughout the day there were various other chores to do. Making beds, fetching food and cleaning up. Mending shoes. Preparing the family for outings.

 

Basically, mind-reading to anticipate what the family might want or need.

 

Sometimes the jobs became ridiculous, like ironing the master or mistresses shoe laces or clipping toenails.

 

This necessary ‘underground’ lifeforce of the estate house completed monotonous, repetitive jobs and, many times, only chose this occupation as an alternative to starvation.

 

It was a HARD life…and yet, there are stories of people who found their position and skills valued by their employers.

 

In a story I heard recently while touring the Biltmore, the tour guide told about the differences in which George Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith, viewed their servants. Though George was a kind man, he was raised in wealth his whole life—with less of a reputation of speaking to servants, but Edith broke the mold. She stepped over the divide between class distinctions by having conversations with the servants, sometimes even writing them letters and personally giving them gifts. Her generosity of heart, I’m certain, influenced her husband—because there are later stories of how he interacted with his employees in kind and generous ways.

 

That said—the life of a servant remained a tough one, and the only blessing among the grueling conditions was to have kind employers, marry someone who could take you out of service, or find another job (which is what began to happen more and more during WW1 and beyond)

 

Another time, maybe we could discuss the many different servant roles in the Victorian/Edwardian era, but until then I’d just like to say…if I could go back in time to the Edwardian era….I’d definitely want to come back as aristocracy 😉 (Besides, their clothes were lovely)

 


 

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

 

 

 

www.pepperdbasham.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham

https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pepperbasham/

 

 

#Blogwords, The Long Shadows of Summer Release Feature, Seasons Book 1, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Pepper Basham, A Servant’s Life

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 20 August 2017 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – COVER REVEAL DAY FOUR

SPECIAL EDITION – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER RELEASE – COVER REVEAL DAY FOUR

 Cover reveal Monday 21August.

 

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

 

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

 

Mercedes has always been an avid reader and devours each new Sherlock Holmes mystery as soon as she gets her hands on them. When one of her friends comes to her, Mercedes vows to keep Simone’s secrets and uncover the truth.

 

But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons, Cover Reveal Day Four

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 20 August 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SERVANT OF ALL

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – SERVANT OF ALL

 

Wait. We don’t like that word. It dredges up images of tick-tock, foot stamping, fingers drumming.

We cast our imaginations to fancy bubbles of dreams, and call upon God like a genie in a lamp.

 

And we wait. And none too patiently.

 

But waiting on the Lord is not the same as waiting for the Lord. When we go to a restaurant, the person who takes our order and brings our food is a… waiter or waitress. A server. Waitstaff. They are not sitting idly by waiting for us. They are waiting on us.

 

And so it is with God. We don’t wait for Him, as if His timing was somehow off. As though our timing of a thing was absolute and perfect.

 

We wait on Him. We do His bidding. And before you raise rankled eyebrows, His bidding is always always with our best at heart.

And that includes His time.

 

Jesus served. Our example, the One whom we call ourselves after: Christ-ians. He served. He waited on, if you will, the throngs of people around Him. Day in and day out, wherever He went. They followed Him. They were always there. And yet, He turned no one away.

There is no privilege so great as to serve another. No honor so glorious as to walk in His footsteps, to follow His example.

We don’t like it. It’s not human nature. Our ego, our id demands attention like a newborn baby. It screams,

But this is not Father’s design. He holds the Divine blueprint, the map of our lives. It’s our choice to stay the course, or detour. But He knows things we do not and sees things we cannot—and asks us to trust Him when we cannot see.

Is He a despot? A cruel tyrant? Harsh task master? Not at all.

He wants nothing more than relationship with us. But He is sovereign God, and there can be no other gods. We serve Him lest we exalt ourselves above Him. Lucifer did that and it did not go well for him. jus’ sayin’

 

Serving Abba God is His example for us. It begets His best for us.

How do we soar? We serve Him. We wait on Him. And He will lift us up.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU8MAQKSbEI

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Servant of All

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 19 August 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VIVIENNE HAMPTON

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VIVIENNE HAMPTON

“Vivi had draped herself across the chaise longue, her lacy coverlet laid loosely about her. I wondered had Edna had done this before she left. I stirred and tried to sit, but found myself quite weak, my head yet swimming. I had rustled the covers, though, and the whispered sound apparently woke Vivienne for she sat up just then.”

 

“Vivienne was nothing but kind and gracious, and served me quite flawlessly. Grier made biscuits, especially for me, Vivi told me. There was ham and scrambled eggs and fresh peaches and cream. There was fresh churned butter and honey from the beehive for the biscuits. And glorious coffee.”

 

rem:  Bonjour, Madame, bienvenue. It’s lovely to chat with you today.

VIVIENNE:  Bonjour, Robin. I believe it totally fitting for you to address me by my given name. You did give it to me, after all.

rem:  You grew up on Saisons Plantation. Tell us what that was like.

VIVIENNE:  Oh my goodness. I was born the year after the war started. My first memory is Papá announcing freedom to all the Negroes. He gathered us all under the great oak tree—the one with the swing now—and told them that any who wished were free to go.

rem:  What a poignant moment.

VIVIENNE:  Oh, it was indeed.

rem:  What a tremendous thing your father did. I’m sure they were grateful for their freedom.

VIVIENNE:  smiles They were, Robin. But none of them left Saisons. They all stayed with us and were paid servants instead.

rem:  I recall how benevolent your papá was.

VIVIENNE:  He was kind to all.

rem:  You and your husband run the plantation now, correct?

VIVIENNE:  Henry has a passion for the tea and rice.

rem:  You have a special blend of tea. How did that come about?

VIVIENNE:  laughs When Eti and Gérard and I were small, we were playing at making tea, using pecans.

rem:  How inventive you were.

VIVIENNE:  We were small. We used what we could. laughs We also made pies from mud.

rem:  Who’s idea was it to use pecans?

VIVIENNE:  sighs Eti’s. She always was most inventive.

rem:  I understand you and she were close.

VIVIENNE:  nods

rem:  Can you tell me about her.

VIVIENNE:  hesitates, takes deep breath She was a ray of sunshine, a bundle of joy. No one didn’t love her.

rem:  You had the same birthday didn’t you?

VIVIENNE:  smiles Yes. She arrived the day I turned three. Just months before the war ended.

rem:  She followed after you wherever you went.

VIVIENNE:  And mimicked everything I ever did.

rem:  Was that annoying to you?

VIVIENNE:  Mercy, no. I delighted in it.

rem:  pause She died a very tragic death. Can you tell us what happened?

VIVIENNE:  She was pushed. We all knew it. She was in her wheelchair, and fell from the balcony outside her rooms. She couldn’t even stand—she was yet recovering from another fall.

rem:  Also not an accident, correct?

VIVIENNE:  Suzi was so tiny but she saw… She didn’t know who it was, and couldn’t describe very well.

rem:  You knew who it was though, didn’t you?

VIVIENNE:  Yes. We all knew. It was Lissette Fontaine.

rem:  Vivienne, I’m so sorry.

VIVIENNE:  Thank you. Please forgive my temper. After all this time… I forgave the woman, but it still pains me.

PAUSE

rem:  You raised her girls, didn’t you?

VIVIENNE:  loud sigh Yes, I did. They were a delight.

rem:  Where was their papá, Monsieur Rowan?

VIVIENNE:  closes eyes She seduced him. And then ran off—and took our dear Simone.

rem:  Dear Vivienne, you have suffered great loss.

VIVIENNE:  We all did. Violet stopped talking, Suzi became most belligerent. They both had nightmares. pauses We adjusted, though. They are now delightful young women.

rem:  A change for you, I’m sure, after raising three boys.

VIVIENNE:  laughs Most certainly different.

rem:  Vivienne, I thank you for chatting with me today. My condolences on your losses.

VIVIENNE:  I thank you, Robin. And it has been my pleasure.

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.instagram.com/robinemason212/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108929134414473292325

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

The pursed expression on Eléanore’s face was most entertaining. Clearly she viewed Violet’s mute tongue as a deficiency, and her ability to communicate using her hands as some sort of sacrilege.

            Violet looked to Vivienne, who signed back to her that all was well, and to dismiss the vieille vache. The old cow.

            Vivienne smiled quite demurely, laughing most gaily with her amber eyes. Violet smiled large and satisfied.”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Vivienne Hampton, Lissette Fontaine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Roxanne Barbour, Author

Adventures in Speculative Fiction and Poetry

The Christian Fiction Girl

Christian Fiction Reviews by Nicole

The Main Idea

For your consideration: Some modest ideas for changing the world.

Quills & Inkblotts

Because the world needs good stories

Nadine Brandes

Fusing authentic faith and bold imagination

Toni Shiloh

Soulfully Romantic

Jennifer Hallmark

Alabama Inspired Fiction

The Dream Book Blog

On writing, creativity, psychological reality, and dreams

Traveling Bookworm

Book reviews & travel pictures mostly

Margaret Kazmierczak

Simply sharing the seeds of love through writing

Today in HisStory

History from a Christian Perspective

Diversity Between the Pages

Your stop for diverse Christian fiction

Petra's Pen

Everything writerly

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

towriteastory.com/

How to Plan, Plot, Write, Edit, Publish, and Market a Story

Tall Poppy Writers

Bright Authors | Smart Readers | Good Books

Joy of Reading

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou