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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 16 June 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – GUEST POST – THE AFTERMATH, A WRITER’S LIFE

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – GUEST POST – THE AFTERMATH, A WRITER’S LIFE

            * as written for http://readingismysuperpower.org/2018/06/16/guest-post-and-a-giveaway-robin-e-mason-the-seasons-series/

 

 “The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

 

Have you ever wondered what authors do when they finish a new book? Well, I’m here to tell ya. For this author, at least.

 

Mentally, I crash. Well, physically, too. ‘Specially this last series—I mean, come ON! Four books in one year?!?!?!? What was I thinking?

Okay, okay, let me ‘splain. Writing is an intense journey, hard work and hard deadlines, even for Indies such as myself. Research and hyper attention to detail, especially for the OCD-er ones. (like moi) And when it’s over, it’s not unlike the release after a rigorous work-out. Or a hike up Mount Everest… Or childbirth. And there is post-authorum letdown, if not depression.

Truly, I feel rather at odds, staring at ALL.THE.THINGS I have neglected these past months. And in my case, this time at least, the ten days remaining (at the time this post goes live) before major surgery. Which, by the way, was deferred till after the writing got did.

So now that this story is finished, and wrapped up in a pretty cover, what does the author’s brain do? Why, we noodle around with notes and ideas for our next story, of course! Or stories, as the case may be.

In my case, I’ve two new series’ swarming around, both of which took root some years ago. Kid stories, something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and a mid-grade series for my granddaughters.

 

The notes from Seasons will soon be tucked away and replaced with notes for the next series, files on the laptop will be set up—truly, I’ve already started that endeavor.

But the non-writing stuff, that’s what’s begging my attention. Basic housekeeping #hangsheadinshame, neglected and languishing projects #Imanartisttoo, and the rearranging of furniture to accommodate post-surgery recovery.

 

Perhaps the hardest and yet sweetest won “task” is nothing. And by nothing I mean doing nothing. Truly, I adore sitting on my front porch, watching the trees be trees. Watching the birds flit about, and squabble. Watching the kids on my block ride their bikes as the race and carry on great adventures.

 

It feels strange, this sitting, half-idly, thinking about all the stuff to do and not having the stress and pressure to get it done. Methinks it’s part of the creative cycle, not so unlike a rigorous exercise routine. Warm up, bust it for a while, cool down; warm up, bust it for a while, cool down; warm up…

 

Not so unlike life in general. Our days fluctuate between work and family, obligation and pleasure, high pressure and down time.

That down time is rather like recovery after surgery. I failed to allow for that two years ago after my first knee replacement, and had to adjust my book deadline. This time, I’ve blocked out the rest of the summer for recovery. And reading. You didn’t think I’d be totally idle all those weeks, did you?

Even Father God takes a day of rest. And He’s God. He doesn’t get tired, He never slumbers or sleeps. But He is our example and He says to take a day of rest. Or two. Or ten. “Be still and know,” He says. Basically, rest. Chill out. You’ve done well, now it’s time to kick back and enjoy.

So, the aftermath of writing for this author? I be chillin’. I be kicked back. And I sure be enjoying.

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

 

#Blogwords, The Aftermath, A Writer’s Life, Special Edition, Guest Post, Reading is My Superpower, Carrie Schmidt, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 12 June 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – GUEST POST – FAMILY & FRIENDS, and Why They Show Up in my Writing So Much

written for Beth Erin @ http://www.faithfullybookish.com/

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – GUEST POST – FAMILY & FRIENDS, and Why They Show Up in my Writing So Much

 “The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

 

Ya know, those peeps you sometimes just want smack up ‘side the head? The ones who can irk you and get under your skin like nobody else on the planet?? The ones who you also can’t live without???

Yup, those ones! Gotta love ‘em!!

Or not…

 

I was not close to extended family growing up. And I only discovered how much I missed that when I realized how much it shows up in my stories!! I go to great lengths to establish who’s who in all my stories, and even if a cousin’s wife’s brother doesn’t make an appearance in the story—I know who he is. And how old he is. And probably who his friends are…

 

I believe it goes to our identity. Our roots, our heritage. Who we’re related doesn’t define who we are, certainly. But who we are does stem from where we come from. (follow that??)

 

But more than that, I thrive, apparently, in family gatherings. I long for extended family reunions, or gathering of friends. I’m that odd mix of introvert-extrovert, and I come alive when peeps come around. *usually…

 

My blog is all about friends and family, like an open-door family room, or front porch with year-round lemonade or tea or coffee. A place to hang out, chat and laugh, or sit in silence. A place of fellowship and connection. (notice the lack of electronics and anything digital???)

 

Maybe that’s why family is so important, fellowship and connection. A place of open arms, no matter what. caveat: not a place of condoning unacceptable activity, but of love in spite of unacceptable behavior.

 

These connections, friendships and family, are so prevalent in my stories because they have been so lacking in my life. I have my cherished friends, those friendships that have outlasted time and distance and life-events. There have been those “for a season” friends who have left my circle. And those friends who weren’t truly friends deep down, who went their own way because they chose not to grow with the friendship.

 

But the connections that remain—those are our circle, whether family or friend. Truly, though, friends that stick with you are family.

 

In a way, perhaps my fictional characters are filling a void in my life. Perhaps they are placeholder as Father restores what has been lost and damaged.

 

Or maybe, they are extensions of Father’s love and family, my heart pouring out into fictional people what I long to share with family and friends not on a written page. (I can’t say “real” people because my characters are very real to me—in a very lucid and fictional sense!)

 

Seasons is about four friends, and the unlikely bond they share. Four girls from four different circumstances. In an era when family status defined them, they followed their hearts, and friendships that were birthed from their bond were stronger than any societal rigors.

And in the end, it’s the connection with her friends that restores what Simone has lost—her memory. Even in the cobwebs of lost memories, her friends, their names, their faces, came to mind. For all their spats and differences, they banded together to find the answers she sought.

Once restored, her family welcomed her back with open arms and hearts, the loss of years as bitter for them as it had been baffling for her. And within the shelter of family and friends, her story—if not always in real life—knew its happy ending.

The journey of the series is a, well, series of relationships restored, both family and friends. The connection between the characters survives any trauma inflicted against it. I established family in my stories for a reason, if not with intent and purpose; it wasn’t until my 6th or 7th book that I realized this phenomena I had created—and why!

 

The why is the foundation that family creates, and is. And what I believe is our innate instinct to preserve. Or, in so many families, to restore. Isn’t that what you do when there is a crack in the foundation? Restore it? Rebuild it? Make something new from the old? Make something beautiful from the ugly? Something vital and healthy and growing from that which was despised and discarded?

Isn’t that what Father God does with us? And isn’t it into His family that He invites and welcomes us? Are we not sons and daughters, and not puppets or minions? His chosen ones, His peculiar people (some of us more than others… ) His beloved.

 

Perhaps this golden thread of family in the tapestry of my stories isn’t so accidental after all. Perhaps Father wove it in as my hands wrote the words. Just as He had woven that precious thread into the tapestry of my life.

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Family and Friendship, Special Edition, Guest Post, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 29 March 2018 – GUEST POST – GINGER SOLOMON

BLOGWORDS – GUEST POST – GINGER SOLOMON

 

FAITH FICTION

 

“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.” —Madeline L’Engle

 

Saw that quote the other day—and it says so much, and rather defines my writing—my life. I think most of us, as authors, draw from personal experience; I know I do. And the biggest part of my writing, truly my life, is my faith. But I don’t write Christian Fiction. I cannot market as such, because of “those” words. They’re rare, few and far between, maybe 5 in 100K manuscript. But they’re there.

 

But so is my faith.

 

Borrowed the words of my sweet friend, Carrie Schmidt, when she reviewed The Silent Song of Winter recently:

 

“In her novels, Mason wrestles with some of the darkest parts of human nature. But she also wraps each story in the loving arms of Grace… A realization that the words of Scripture are God’s heart written just for her. A new awareness that she is a child of the King who is dearly loved. As this transformation takes place in Pearl’s heart, it touches every area of her life – with some very moving results.”

 

http://readingismysuperpower.org/2018/03/09/book-review-and-a-giveaway-the-silent-song-of-winter-by-robin-e-mason/

 

I remember a phrase a pastor friend used to use, “Friendship Evangelism.” And it resonated with me to my core. I feel slack sometimes, that I don’t “do” more to spread the Gospel. But Holy Spirit reminds me, so gently as He is wont to do, I am spreading His Word. With my daily living, even and perhaps most especially, when I fail. Because that’s when I pick myself up—rather, He picks me up—and like Twila Paris says in her song, I look up for a smile. And Father’s arms are always always open to me. His heart is always always FOR me.

 

My writing manifesto says much the same as Ms. L’Engle,

 

“Stories for Christians to see or remember the ugly effects of the lies of the enemy, and for unbelievers to see the beauty of the Truth and transforming power of the Word of God.”

 

It’s how I live my life. It’s what I pray shows in my writing. It’s how I believe all Christians are called to do.

 

Jesus didn’t hide from sin or from sinners. He went to them, He reached out, met them at their point of need and desperation. Loved them in their ugliness. So, too, should we.

 

Is my writing Christian Fiction? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it is Faith Fiction.

 

When all the noise has gone silent, all that is left is her song.

 

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.

 

Pearl had lived under the impossible taskmaster of perfection. Nothing she does or ever did pleased her mother. And nothing she ever did could disappoint her father.

 

Caught up in the mystery of her friend’s curious—and secretive—return, Pearl wrestles with her own decisions, and flees lest her own secrets are exposed.

 

GIVEAWAY

I am offering an e-copy of The Silent Song of Spring.

 

http://www.gingersolomon.com/posts/faith-fiction-with-robin-mason-plus-giveaway/

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Guest Post, Ginger Solomon, Faith Fiction, Why I Write What I Write, Friendship Evangelism

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BLOGWORDS – 2 March 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – MELISSA WARDWELL

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – MELISSA WARDWELL

 

Family

Some of us love our families without abandon. Other families work better on opposite sides of the room. But no matter the kind of family, you are there for one another. It is engrained into our DNA to lift up and support one another and put aside our differences. We come together on holidays and special occasions and celebrate each achievement. And sometimes, when one is in desperate need, we, link our arms together  and hold that one up through the trial.

This is my matriarchal side of the family. When one of us needs a little extra boost, someone is right there to help. Need a couple more bags of groceries to fill your pantry, you will find them on your door step. If the kids will be home from school before a parent can get there, someone is available and willing to be there to get them off the bus. We are a tight family, no matter our difference in faith, politics, and life choices. There is still a constant bond that remains. A fine thread that binds us all together.  Grandma.

My Grandma A is the last of my grandparents. At one point, she was sassy, bold, opinionated, vivacious, tenacious, stubborn, and will never complain. You would rarely find her home on a Sunday evening because she was out with her girls (ladies she played cards with and I am guessing and adult beverage or two). She was the local VFW’s Queen of Poppies because she sold the most poppies every year to raise money for the Ladies Auxiliary. Having been a widow since 1987, she filled her time with volunteer work and helping her kids. We could always count on grandma to be at school plays, choir and band concerts, dance recitals – well, you name it and she was there.

A little over a decade ago, we began to notice a change in this energetic thread. She began asking the same questions repeatedly in a short amount of time. Then, she forgot where she parked her car in the parking lot. That led to no longer recalling what street signs meant. And the ball began to roll. About eight years ago, that hated D word was mentioned – Dementia. A couple of years later – Alzheimers.

When grandma received these diagnoses, we banded together around her and formed a plan. Well, it was more like my mom, aunt, and uncle. My aunt made arrangements to live with grandma and the siblings would help with care as needed. Since grandma could no longer drive, it was mostly transportation related. Then, she digressed, and it became “check in on her once a day” just to make sure she didn’t feel alone.  A couple years ago, it became, “We need someone at the house twice a day.” She was forgetting how to make simple meals. That awful demon that was robbing my grandmother’s mind continued its journey.

I happen to live a block away from my aunt and grandma. Since I am a stay at home mom, I was the only one who could be there more than even my own mother. Everyone had to work to continue supporting their households. Even my aunt. Someone had to keep the heat on. So, I willingly go over to the house there times a week now. I enjoy our times together as we have shared many tender moments and some great laughs. But the light are flickering behind those amazing blue eyes. The person inside is bumping around in the corners of that 96 year old mind and she is getting pretty banged up.

“God, I really hate this disease!” Is something I remark often in my quiet times. I hate watching this pillar in our family wither away a little more each day. The woman who was once there for her children and grandchildren, never really relying on anyone, now needs all of those she helped to pitch in for her. Though she won’t ask for your help. Each visit is different now. The only routine we have is help her dress, comb her hair, make her breakfast, give her her medications, take her blood pressure, and if she isn’t too tired, play a round of Skip-Bo.

This winter, my husband had another opportunity to move us all south. We struggled with the choice this year. Grandma was slipping even more and I cannot bring myself to leave her. I am so glad my husband understands that I can’t leave her no matter how bad we want to get out of Michigan. In fact, he told me he knew this would be the case.

 

When we moved into our house five years ago, my journey as a caregiver for grandma began. I knew that God had placed me here to be easily accessible if something happened and when it was time, this door would close, a new door would open and we would move from this home to another. I must admit, moving to a bigger home is something exciting for my family, but my heart is a little scared. It means things are coming to an end. I am not sure I am ready. Then again, is anyone every ready to say goodbye to one they love so much?

 

Melissa resides in the small mid-Michigan farm community of Corunna with her husband, three children, one cat, and three dogs.

She began writing in 2014. She has 4 titles to her resume and is currently working on her next novel.  In her spare time, she reads a verity of books throughout the year and shares her thoughts on Goodreads or her blog Back Porch Reads.

You can connect with her at www.melissawardwell.com as well as all major social media outlets and Amazon

 

 

 

 

www.melissawardwell.com

www.facebook.com/mwardwell99

www.twitter.com/mwardwell99

https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Wardwell/e/B00T17KNGE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1487615785&sr=8-2-ent

www.pintrest.com/mwardwell99

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-wardwell

www.instagram.com/mwardwell99

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Melissa Wardwell, Family, Grandma A

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BLOGWORDS – 19 March 2018 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – MELINDA INMAN

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – MELINDA INMAN

  

Balancing Writing and Family

When my house was full of young children, I attempted to draft my first novel. After only one chapter, I realized I couldn’t write fiction and homeschool a houseful of children simultaneously. Keep a journal, yes, but concentrate on effective fiction plotting, no.

 

Maybe you can. If so, it might seem silly that I didn’t press on, that I put my fiction writing aside for another season. But my brain didn’t work that way, and I had watched my working mother. Learning from her experience, I knew something had to give. Fiction could wait. The children would grow up and, one day, be gone.

 

Two decades later, only one child remained, and I started writing fiction again. Words and backlogged stories came bursting forth. Scenes woke me in the night. Inspiration struck while singing hymns at church. Walks were disrupted as I paused to jot phrases. Words streamed like water from a fire hydrant.

 

Inspiration didn’t turn off or on when it was most convenient. Looking back at those years of balancing my daughter’s high school education with learning to write fiction, I remember the haze induced by pounding out a scene on my laptop in a loud ballet studio. Pausing to watch each piece she danced solo or with the group, to help with pointe shoe dilemmas, and regularly to watch, astonished by her gracefulness, I drafted five novels.

 

I can still feel the urgency of working fast and sloppy to draft a section before we rushed to the next event. I dragged that laptop to play practices, huddled in halls and libraries during my daughter’s science tutoring, and carried snippets of dialogue in my head as I raced her across town from one event to another.

 

But I cherish the memories of quiet mornings, each of us working at home, and the time spent in the coffee shop while we awaited the French tutor. Often the two of us enjoyed the pleasure of simply sitting and conversing. I was glad I’d waited.

 

The stories I drafted then are bound together in my memory with the events of those days. The murder scene in Refuge, my story about Cain and Abel, was written when my writer friend Susan lent us her daughter, who was the best friend of my girl. My husband was out of town, and I needed to write, so the two girls had an entire weekend sleepover. As Susan left, she asked when I needed her to return.

 

“When I’ve killed Abel,” I said. “I’m not quite sure how to do it yet.”

 

Only writers can have these kinds of conversations. Two days later Susan returned. I had finished the scene. Wild haired and disheveled, I greeted her at the door. Tears streaming down my face, emotionally distraught and yet triumphant, I still wore the same clothes.

 

“Abel’s dead,” I wailed. “I’ve done it. I’ve killed him.”

 

My friends learned to endure these quirks. But my husband and my daughter had to actually live with a writer. When I was still figuring out how to hit the pause button on inspiration, rather than write for fourteen hours a day, they held a family meeting to discuss strategies. When I had a deadline, they vacated. After I had finished a manuscript to send off to the publisher, they took me to the mall for a massage while they went shopping, rewarding us all.

 

We did it. It was a group effort. If you’re a writer with a family, it has to be. Everyone must be heard, and everyone must work together. This is something you can’t accomplish without their cooperation and your willingness to compromise. Even then, it will require communication and sharing of strategies.

 

Ironically, now that all my children are grown, I find that I can’t accomplish nearly as much writing as when I had that pressing schedule. Writing was more urgent then, because I had to squeeze it in here and there. Now I find myself waiting for the perfect moment to start. There is no perfect moment. And so, often I don’t start.

 

Only you and the Lord together can determine whether and when you can write. If the Lord gives you stories, he’ll give you a way. It may not look at all like you expected, for it will impact your family. A writer must always be mindful of that. Listen.

  

Melinda Viergever Inman, a prodigal now returned, writes with passion, illustrating God’s love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Her writing also encompasses chronic illness and autoimmune disease, as she was stricken when her first novel was in production. Melinda’s fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Melinda also pens inspirational material and weekly blog posts at http://melindainman.com/blog/. With her family she is involved with Mission India/RIMI, rescuing orphans and providing theological and job training for impoverished students.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-V-Inman/189731601076470

http://melindainman.com/

https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman

http://www.pinterest.com/melindavinman/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MelindaViergeverInman/posts/p/pub

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Melinda Inman, Balancing Writing and Family

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BLOGWORDS – 12 March 2018 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – ROBIN PATCHEN

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – ROBIN PATCHEN

 

Ah, family. You live with them, and you know them so well. You know their talents, their weaknesses, their tendencies. You know their smiles and frowns and laughs. You know their struggles and faults and foibles.

Take my eldest son, for example. Nicholas was the talker in the family. When he was a little boy, I used to offer him money to stop talking. A thousand dollars in exchange for five minutes of quiet so I could make a grocery list or read a recipe or just think. He never earned that money.

Nicholas has turned out to be an amazing adult. He’s 20 years old and a missionary who loves street evangelism and preaching to a crowd (no surprise with all that talking). He is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, cooking his own meals, doing his own laundry. But somehow, he’s never mastered the art of carrying a cup from his bedroom to the kitchen. When he’s home, part of my daily routine is to sweep into his room and grab the plastic cups from his dresser.

And there’s my husband, Eddie. Immensely talented, he understands money and investments as if he were born with the gene. He can spot the most obscure penalties in a football game in real time, things I can’t see on the replay in slo-mo. And he is so funny, he can make me laugh until I cry. But with all those great talents, he’s never managed to get his socks all the way into the hamper, and he seems to need to have the TV on at all times, even if he’s mowing the lawn, so that when he’s home, I’m constantly fighting the desire to shout, “Can you please turn that down so I can work?”

Nicholas and Eddie. Two of my favorite men in the world can drive me nuts sometimes.

In September, Nicholas moved to Hawaii. He’s made a two-year commitment to serve with Youth with a Mission. This spring, he’ll lead a team of students to southeast Asia to share Christ with the Muslims and Buddhists who live there. I find myself longing to hear his voice, telling myself I should have enjoyed it more when he was four years old and wouldn’t stop talking. I’d give anything to find a half-full cup of lemonade on his dresser today.

In January, my husband started a new job and moved temporarily to Pennsylvania, where he’ll stay until we all relocate to Charlotte this spring. The separation has been difficult. Difficult for him because he’s accustomed to being surrounded by family. He’s never lived alone, and being in a faraway state with only the one person he works as a friend has been a challenge like none he’s ever faced.

Meanwhile, back in Oklahoma, my younger two children and I have had to figure out how to live without him. With both Eddie and Nick gone, with the TV off and Nicholas’s chatter only entertaining me during Sunday afternoon phone calls, the house is too quiet.

I’ve always respected and admired the men and women in our military, people who often have to leave home for months, years at a time. I’ve always known it’s hard on the families they leave behind. But until now, I never really understood it. And our few months apart are nothing compared to what they have to deal with.

Thank you to all the military families out there who make such sacrifices to protect us. And if you’re separated from your family members for any reason, my heart goes out to you. If you’re raising teenagers alone, wow, this is a hard job, and I’ve only been doing it for a few months, and my hubby is just a phone call away. God bless you.

If you’re at home right now, picking up your husband’s socks and straightening your kids’ bedrooms, if your house is filled with laughter and bickering and music, if there are too many dirty dishes to fit in the dishwasher and there’s too much laundry to complete in a single Saturday, count yourself blessed to be surrounded by the most important people in your world.

I’m going to go turn on the TV in the other room so I don’t feel so alone.

 

A GIFT FOR ALL MY READERS: Robin (Patchen) is giving away Convenient Lies, a free e-book, to all my readers. Convenient Lies is book one in the Hidden Truth series. It has over 100 5-star reviews on Amazon. Click here to download the book. (Link is https://dl.bookfunnel.com/t97c9vf8cn.)

 

 

Robin (Patchen) is also giving away a paperback copy of the second book in the Hidden truth series, Twisted Lies. * Open to all commenters, runs through 26 February.

Robin’s newest release, Innocent Lies, is available now.

“Kelsey huddled in the corner, tried to make herself invisible. Outside, she heard a muffled voice, a shout, and the pounding of footsteps across the porch. Then, the unmistakable jingle of keys. The lock turned. The door opened. And her last chance for escape melted like snow.”

 

–Robin Patchen, award winning author of Finding Amanda and Convenient Lies.

 

About Innocent Lies:

 

A lost little boy steals his heart.

 

When Eric finds eight-year-old Daniel alone in the woods, he has no idea where the boy came from or how he’s survived the wintery New Hampshire weather. He figures once he hands the boy off to child services, his part in Daniel’s drama will be over. He couldn’t be more wrong.

 

She’ll do anything to keep her son safe. 

 

Kelsey sneaks into Nutfield with a goal and a secret, but when she’s arrested and sees Eric, her first and only love, all her plans to expose her enemy fall apart.

 

The past catches up with them.

 

Together, Eric and Kelsey fight to protect Daniel, an innocent child caught in a dangerous game. Can Eric help Kelsey bring down her enemies without risking his heart…again? Will Kelsey have to walk away from the only man she’s ever loved…again?

 

http://amzn.com/B0774WL7DR

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/innocent-lies-1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1127396772

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/innocent-lies/id1307084222

 

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Patchen to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 

Find Robin on the web:

http://robinpatchen.com

https://www.facebook.com/RobinPatchen/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/robin-patchen

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5187882.Robin_Patchen

https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Patchen/e/B00A289790/


 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Robin Patchen, Family

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BLOGWORDS – 26 February 2018 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – STEPHENIA MCGEE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – STEPHENIA MCGEE

 

The volunteer nurses of the Civil War.

 

Thousands of women set aside their daily lives to care for the sick and wounded during the Civil War. Women from both sides pinned on aprons and set to work washing, feeding, and bandaging the scores of men who would swarm into makeshift hospitals in their hometowns.

At the onset of war, there were fewer than 150 actual hospitals in the country, and no formal nursing schools. The profession was dominated by men, as women were thought to be too fragile to cope with the challenges of caring for the sick and wounded.

But as the fighting began, the sheer volume of wounded soldiers from both North and South soon overburdened facilities and resulted in a break-down of traditional gender roles in nursing.

One of these volunteers, famous novelist Lousia May Alcott records her first days of service in Hospital Sketches. She paints a vivid picture of endless, exhausting work, and gives a glimpse into the nature of the Victorian society with her account of how scandalized both the women and soldiers were when these new volunteers were asked to remove the men’s shirts and bathe them.

It wouldn’t be until later when women like Dorethea Dix set up standards and training that things would get a little more organized. But even then, many of the soldiers had to rely on the kindness of local volunteers to help keep them healthy.

While some nurses under the direction of Dorethea Dix were paid 40 cents a day plus rations, many were volunteers using shredded sheets from their own homes.

In the backdrop of my Liberator Series, Rosswood Plantation is taken over to serve as a hospital, leaving young Annabelle Ross to learn to tend the men who fill her home. Her duties would have included washing, feeding, changing bandages, writing letters, and trying to keep men’s spirits up. As a Southern lady with Yankee inclinations, Annabelle tries to care for all of the men to the best of her ability, regardless of the color of their uniform.

 

While Annabelle and her time nursing is, of course, fictional, Rosswood Plantation did indeed serve as a hospital for Confederate soldiers during the war.

In many cases, mansions like Rosswood were taken over by the armies because of their size and ability to house the officers or create makeshift hospitals, run by army surgeons.

The women that lived in these homes often faced a harsh reality as rooms that were once used for parties and balls were now filled with bleeding and suffering men.

In a tumultuous time of destruction with a nation pitted against itself, these women found strength and courage to bind the wounds. If not for their valiant efforts and the relentless determination of women like Dorethea Dix and Clara Barton (founder of the Red Cross) nursing wouldn’t be what it is today.

 

If you are interested in reading more about Annabelle and Rosswood, you can get the first novel in the Liberator Series FREE when you sign up for my newsletter. Get yours instantly here.

 

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/81eo2tc3lm

 

* Historical images from the Burns Archive, public domain, Rosswood and Annabelle pictures property of By The Vine Press

 

Brief excerpt from Leveraging Lincoln:

Let the dead bury the dead, Annabelle thought as the spade sank another few inches into the ground. She paused a moment to wipe the sweat from her brow with a dirty sleeve. Dead, indeed. Her arms were numb from digging, and her back and legs were starting to cramp. A heart hardened against the gristly task beat rapidly with exertion underneath what had once been the gown of a privileged heiress. But, that was before the war, her father’s death and…. Well, it didn’t matter now anyway.

She hadn’t had time for anything other than the soldiers from both North and South who at one time or another had filled her home to overflowing. Annabelle slammed the spade into the earth, her fingers so numb from the cold she hardly noticed the forming blisters. She gave these men the best she could—a too-shallow grave and a few parting words. She recorded every name, should their families ever come to look for them. Until then, Annabelle had no choice but to share her land with the dead.

“Miss Belle, you’s done enough diggin’ today.”

Annabelle looked up from the hard ground and into a face that looked as tired as she felt. The waning light of another long day cast shadows on Peggy’s dusky skin and made her look older than she should have. Peggy lowered the rear legs of the makeshift cart to the ground, giving a soft grunt as she finally released the weight. Annabelle mustered a smile she hoped would soothe away some of the worry lines creasing Peggy’s brow.

“I know. But I didn’t think we could stand to leave him out another day.”

Peggy pressed her lips together but said nothing. She was less fond of leaving dead men in the house than she was of Annabelle digging. Annabelle reached down and grabbed one of the worn boots, and gave the body a tug. He felt twice as heavy as when they’d loaded him in the cart. “Help me get him in.”

Peggy hesitated, and Annabelle wondered if this would be the time she refused, but, as usual, Peggy clamped her jaw tight and grabbed the other boot. They heaved and struggled until the body fell from the cart, scraped over the rough earth, and finally landed in the hole with an unceremonious thud just as the sun began to dip below the trees. Annabelle resisted the urge to place her dirty fingers under her nose in a futile effort to hold off the stench.

Peggy sighed. “It’s a right shame we ain’t got no preacher for them. You sure buryin’ them here is a good idea?”

Annabelle pinched the bridge of her nose and let out a weary sigh. “Peggy, you’ve asked me that question a dozen times, and a dozen times I’ve given you the same answer.”

“Still don’t like it.”

Annabelle nearly agreed, but she knew that would only give Peggy more footing to try to wear down her resolve. “Come on. It’s getting dark. We need to get him covered. Lord willing, he will be the last soldier we lay to rest at Rosswood.”

 

Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. After earning a degree in Animal and Dairy Sciences, she discovered her heart truly lies with the art of story. She put pen to page and never looked back. Visit her at http://www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books and updates.

www.StpeheniaMcGee.com

www.Facebook.com/StepheniaHMcGee

@StepheniaHMcGee

 

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Stephenia McGee

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