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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 30 November 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – SCARLETT SHEEHAN

CHAT THURSDAY – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – SCARLETT SHEEHAN

“I had accepted what I was, accepted my fate. I’d never be free. No matter Mercedes had paid double Fontaine’s price, no matter he was dead and had no hold on me.

            No, my fate was carved out long ago. Lissette had wooed me, tutored me, shaped me. I didn’t know how she did it, but she did. I could hear her calling to me…

 

 

Fontaine’s death should have lifted the darkness from me, should have served to free me from his grip. Certainly the fear that had held me so long had vanished. But the misery he suffered—I had failed to bring him peace. I had failed to show him the gossamer wings.

            Those same ethereal wings evaded me, as well, abandoning me to my fate. Instead the oppressive black shadowy wings cloaked me like a thick fog, like a spider web.

 

 

 

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

SCARLETT:  Oh, I thank you for inviting me, Madame. You’re so kind.

rem:  Please call me Robin.

SCARLETT:  Yes, ma’am—Robin.

rem:  Your life was turned upside down when you were very small. Can you tell us about that?

SCARLETT:  I think you’re talking about when ma mère died, and oui, it quite turned my life upside down. I was so little then, just five years old, and I didn’t understand all that had happened.

rem:  Your father left Saisons, is that right?

SCARLETT:  He did. They all left. I was told Mamá had gone away. I suppose they thought that kinder than trying to explain death to me. But Avalina—my sister—was taken away, too, and grandmère et grandpère went away with Papá. They were all suddenly gone.

rem:  I’m so sorry, Scarlett. How awful for you.

SCARLETT:  Merci, Robin. I was a very scared little girl.

rem:  And Tierney was charged with your care, correct?

SCARLETT:  Oui. She was our cook and I was very confused. But she was kind to me. She treated me well if not… affectionately.

rem:  She really cares deeply for you.

SCARLETT:  Oui, yes, she really does. She always took such great care of me. She let me go play when I know she shouldn’t have.

rem:  You and your friends are close, are you not?

SCARLETT:  smiles We truly are, even now—even after what Mercedes did. laughs

rem:  Your life was turned upside down a second time, too, correct?

SCARLETT:  You mean when Simone died? Well, when we thought she died.

rem:  nods That was traumatic for you and your friends.

SCARLETT:  I had terrible nightmares for weeks, and I wouldn’t go near the water.

rem:  What about Versailles?

SCARLETT:  Oh, no. I didn’t go back there for years. Not until Simone had returned.

rem:  Scarlett, it’s as though you’ve been caught in an undertow in your life. Tell us about the third time you were turned upside down.

SCARLETT:  laughs Mercedes, bless her soul, tried to save me from— I don’t suppose I should say too much, though, should I?

rem:  Quite right. But you fought her on it, didn’t you?

SCARLETT:  blushes I did, oui.

rem: Why was that?

SCARLETT:  I felt she was wrong. I didn’t believe it would last.

rem:  And Fontaine?

SCARLETT:  I knew he would come for me. He would find me and take me back to Bastille.

rem:  I’m so glad it didn’t turn out that way.

SCARLETT:  As am I, Madame. As am I.

rem:  You are a most accomplished fashion designer, Scarlett. Congratulations.

SCARLETT:  Yes, well, I thank you. It was most unexpected, actually.

rem:  How so?

SCARLETT:  It was a hobby, really. I only drew pictures of Mamá’s dresses when I was a little girl—to remember her. And then I started drawing new dresses.

rem:  I believe some were deemed rather scandalous.

SCARLETT:  laughs Yes, I suppose so. I never liked the horrible corsets and my dresses were looser. So much more lovely.

rem:  All of your gowns and dresses are lovely, Scarlett.

SCARLETT:  blushes Merci.

rem:  Thank you so much for visiting with us today.

SCARLETT:  And I thank you ever so much for telling my story.

 

 

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““Scarlett, Fontaine told me of his… treatment of you. And he was riddled with guilt. We talked much in his last days, he and I.” Stephen turned to look at me then. “And we prayed. Together.”

            “You prayed with him?”

            “I did.” He tucked his finger underneath my chin, lifted my face to his. “And he prayed too. He asked for forgiveness. He asked me to tell you. He wanted to ask your forgiveness.””

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Scarlett Sheehan

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 16 November 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – ADRIÉN FONTAINE

CHAT THURSDAY – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – ADRIÉN FONTAINE

“This taste of freedom was divine. Even if I knew it could not last. Fontaine would come for us and he would demand that we return home. He needed us. He needed me.”

 

““Fontaine… He is my father”— I clapped my hand over my mouth but it was too late. Mercedes and Simone had both heard me. And their eyes were pools of horror and confusion.”

 

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

FONTAINE:  Yes, well, I thank you for asking me.

rem:  Can you tell us about your first wife?

FONTAINE:  stares

rem:  I’m sorry…

FONTAINE:  Non, it is good. She was… always smiling and singing, and shining bright, like a star to me. I never knew her to say a derogatory thing about anyone, not even when…

rem:  It’s okay, Monsieur.

FONTAINE:  Merci. She was brave when it happened, kind even to him—she forgave him.

rem:  She sounds like a remarkable woman. It takes a strong character, and integrity to forgive something so vile.

FONTAINE:  She was truly remarkable.

rem:  I know she died young. Can you tell us about that?

FONTAINE:  pauses

rem:  I know it’s painful. I’m so sorry, Monsieur, for your loss.

FONTAINE:  Oui. It was my sister, she was very ill—mentally. Women’s hysteria they called it.

rem:  I know she was very unstable. They call it bipolar now, manic depressive.

FONTAINE:  She would sit in her room and sing to herself, rocking back and forth like a small child. Then for no reason she would become violent.

rem:  She was treated with laudanum, correct?

FONTAINE:  She was, yes, when she would take it.

rem:  How did she die?

FONTAINE:  I never knew, but I suspected foul play.

rem:  I’m so sorry for your loss, Monsieur.

FONTINE:  Merci, but the loss of my sister was no great loss.

rem:  No, I’m sure it wasn’t. pauses What of Scarlett?

FONTAINE:  She was… closes eyes … most precious to me, a delight. The spitting image of sa mère.

rem:  That must have been painful, to see her grow up, looking so like sa mère.

FONTAINE:  nods

rem:  When you returned from France—

FONTAINE:  I was wrong.

rem:  What happened?

FONTAINE:  Lissette—my sister—had created more trouble and disturbances. I was there to help settle her.

rem:  And Scarlett?

FONTAINE:  I left her. To be safe.

rem:  But she wasn’t safe, Monsieur.

FONTAINE:  I’m not proud of it. paces I didn’t want it to happen.

rem:  She forgave you. Did you know that?

FONTAINE:  Stephen told me.

rem:  And you found peace, n’est-ce pas?

FONTAINE:  I did, oui.

rem:  And Scarlett is happy now.

FONTAINE:  nods

rem:  You look weary, Monsieur.

FONTAINE:  Yes, it’s wearying business. My sister. And Scarlett. My beloved Esther.

rem:  Monsieur, I thank you for visiting with me today. I know it has been difficult.

FONTAINE:  I thank you, Madame. You are most gracious and kind.

 

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“ “Scarlett, Fontaine told me of his… treatment of you. And he was riddled with guilt. We talked much in his last days, he and I.” Stephen turned to look at me then. “And we prayed. Together.”

            “You prayed with him?”

            “I did.” He tucked his finger underneath my chin, lifted my face to his. “And he prayed too. He asked for forgiveness. He asked me to tell you. He wanted to ask your forgiveness.” ”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Adrién Fontaine

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 31 August 2017 – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – MERCEDES RENALDI

CHARACTER INTERVIEW – MERCEDES RENALDI

            “So many secrets that had been hidden for so long, and now they all seemed to be unraveling. And for whatever reason, they seemed to land at my feet.”

 

 

 

            “What was at stake, really? When we were girls our mysteries were made up. There were no real dead—or missing—bodies. No mysterious wealth suddenly appeared save in our imaginations. Leaves and bird feathers and pretty stones do not real wealth make.

 

 

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

MERCEDES:  blushes Bonjour, it is my honor to chat with you.

rem:  Congratulations on your new little one.

MERCEDES:  Merci. Would you like to hold her?

rem:  Would I? reaches for le bébé, Simmie gurgles and coos

MERCEDES:  smiles

rem:  Yes, now, you were born and raised on Saisons Plantation, n’est-ce pas? She’s beautiful by the way.

MERCEDES:  Merci. And oui, I have lived there my whole life.

rem:  Your friend, Simone, was missing for many years.

MERCEDES:  nods

rem:  Why did she come to you?

MERCEDES:  I was the detective when we were girls.

rem:  Detective?

MERCEDES:  laughs I enjoy reading, most especially detective stories.

rem:  I see. And why would Simone need your, uh, services?

MERCEDES:  There were suspicious circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

rem:  I understand she lost her memory also.

MERCEDES:  She did, but not total loss. She remembers some things, others she struggles with.

rem:  And you’re helping her with that.

MERCEDES:  Oui.

rem:  You are a true friend.

MERCEDES:  smiles

rem:  Madame Eléanore did not like you when she first came. Why was that?

MERCEDES:  I’ve wondered that so many times, Madame. She wasn’t so… disdainful on her visits before. pauses Before I think she hardly noticed me.

rem:  Her attitude changed though. How did that happen?

MERCEDES:  shrugs Truly, I can’t imagine what she was thinking. Her doggie, Nanette, got loose and was running toward the paddock and river.

rem:  And you rescued her, n’est-ce pas?

MERCEDES:  I grabbed her as she was running past me. Truly, it was coincidence.

rem:  But Madame softened toward you after. How was she different?

MERCEDES:  She invited me to tea, and to dinner. With the family.

rem:  Most unusual.

MERCEDES:  Indeed. Then she bought me a dress—and one for Simmie. She came and visited with me while I was a-bed, and talked with of how it is being a lady.

rem:  And how did that make you feel?

MERCEDES:  Oh, Madame—

rem:  Please call me Robin.

MERCEDES:  Très bien… Robin. It made me feel uncomfortable, the things she was saying to me. She was talking to me as a lady not a servant.

rem:  But you’ve been a servant all your life.

MERCEDES:  It’s all I’ve ever known.

rem:  And now?

MERCEDES:  And now, mon cher, I think we must tell no more, or we shall tell the whole story.

rem: Mercedes, I do believe you’re right. Madame, I thank you for chatting with me today on my blog today.

MERCEDES:  It has been mon plaisir to chat on your… blog. I thank you, mon cher Robin for inviting to me. And for all you do for me. winks

 

 

            “I’m no lady, Tante. A piece of paper does not make it so.”

            “Non, the paper, non. But notre Dieu, He does. He sees you as a lady, indeed as royalty. Did not He make the way for you to belong to Him? If notre Dieu believes you are royalty, who can say otherwise?”

 

 

 

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#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Mercedes Renaldi

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 25 August 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER by ROBIN E. MASON

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – THE LONG SHADOWS OF SUMMER by ROBIN E. MASON

 

 

Reading is My SuperPower

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THE BLURB:  

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.

 

THE FIRST LINE:

She looked so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. Sitting on the bench like she was outside Hooper’s Market. Her hat was at a rakish angle, her cocoa colored hair perfectly coiffed. Seemed there were tears in her green eyes. I was certain I had never seen her before. But she reminded me of someone…

 

MY THOUGHTS:  

First time writing in first person—and I must say, I like it!!! As usual, this story and its characters have taken on a life of their own—and it’s been a roller coaster ride! As she tells her story, Mercedes’ voice resonates like she’s talking to a friend. (I hope) the reader is drawn to love her as they become familiar with her struggles.

 

 

GENRE:

Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

 

RELEASES:

Thursday 31 August.

 

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, The Long Shadows of Summer, Robin E. Mason, Seasons Series, Book 1

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 24 August 2017 – CHARACTER INTERVIEW – TANTE ELÉANORE-FRANCOIS BOUVIER

CHARACTER INTERVIEW – TANTE ELÉANORE-FRANCOIS BOUVIER

            “Eléanore paraded around the house, through every room, giving the white glove test to every surface. She turned to me every three minutes and announced that this mantel or that étagère needed to be dusted and polished. No matter that Dovie dusted and polished every wood surface every Tuesday afternoon. I added each soiled item to my growing list of grievances.”

 

            “What are you doing to mes chiens?” Madame Eléanore was near hysteria, her own gravelly voice a keening pitch to match that of her dreadful dogs.

            I forced my own body from my bed and came to Mikal’s side.

            Madame had lifted her canine poofs and clutched them to her side. “You’ll answer to Monsieur for this.”

 

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

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Bonjour, it is my honor to chat with you.

rem:  You don’t live at Saisons, correct?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Non, I am from Nimes.

rem:  You visit Saisons often though, don’t you?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Oh oui. I am here whenever I can make the journey.

rem:  You had plans to travel earlier in the year. What made you delay your trip?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  I received the news of that tragic accident of the Titanic. My sister sent me word that she feared for me if I traveled again. I wrote her back and reminded her all the times I have sailed from France to America, and from America to France, and no harm has ever  come to me.

rem:  You have four sisters, n’es-ce pas?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Oui. I am the eldest.

rem:  You were all born in Saisons, correct?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Oh, non, Madame. Our home is in Nimes. We visited here many times as young girls. Only Antoinette and Marguerite found the love here and married.

rem:  When you arrived, you seemed… brusque and surly, condescending even.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  I am accustomed to things the way I like, oui. Mon cherie niece, Vivienne, she is more modern. She does not hold to the high standards, the established traditions.

rem:  But Saisons Plantation is very successful.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  purses mouth, nods Yes, well…

rem:  You were particularly hostile towards Mercedes. Why was that?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Madame, I was not hostile. I am a lady, I am gracious to all.

rem:  But Mercedes…

MADAME ELÉANORE:  She was presumptuous and familiar, forgetting her place.

rem:  raises eyebrows

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Très bien. She was… she bore herself not as a servant. She carried herself as… as regal. She was a servant, and her behavior was not fitting for her station.

rem:  I think perhaps you mean confidence.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Yes, well…

rem:  What changed your… feelings toward her.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Mon chiens, my doggies. She rescued mon cher Nanette. She was… She knew how I thought of her, and yet she did not let mon cher escape. What I thought was presumption, I see now as character and integrity.

rem:  You formed quite a lovely friendship after that, n’es-ce pas?

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Oh, oui. She is a delight to me. And her little one, Nellie—how you say, I could eat her up! She is mon coeur, my heart.

rem:  I suppose we won’t tell our readers today your hand in Mercedes’ new station.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  smirks Non, Madame, we must leave that to read in the book you have made.

rem:  Madame—

MADAME ELÉANORE:  Non. You must call me Tante.

rem:  Tante, I thank you for visiting my blog today.

MADAME ELÉANORE:  It has been mon plaisir to be at your… blog. I thank you, mon cher Robin for inviting to me.

 

 

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            “I’m no lady, Tante. A piece of paper does not make it so.”

            “Non, the paper, non. But notre Dieu, He does. He sees you as a lady, indeed as royalty. Did not He make the way for you to belong to Him? If notre Dieu believes you are royalty, who can say otherwise?”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, The Long Shadows of Summer, Seasons Series, Character Interview, Tante Eléanore-Franois Bouvier

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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.

 

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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

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 48 April 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – THE TILTING LEAVES OF AUTUMN by ROBIN E. MASON

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – THE TILTING LEAVES OF AUTUMN by ROBIN E. MASON

 

Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews

Kathleen Denly

Lauraine’s Notes

With a Joyful Noise

https://joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com/

 

  If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!

COMING IN NOVEMBER*

*change of date

* not the final cover…

THE BLURB:  

* in progress but will be on the back of each book in series

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 girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.

 

THE FIRST LINE

We never did play tea parties like other girls. We played detective. Because that’s what Mercedes read, detective stories. And she was our Sherlock Holmes.

As children, our ventures were harmless enough. Until the day Simone fell in the river and disappeared.

 

MY THOUGHTS:  

Maintaining consistency throughout the series (and perhaps anything else I write) Tilting Leaves is also written in first person. At the time of this posting, I will be approximately half way through writing Scarlett’s story—well, nope, didn’t make it half way. (I did, however, push the release date from October to November (it’s good to be Indie) to give myself time to do it right and do it well.) As a pantser, I enjoy learning new bits about each story and the characters—and Scarlett’s is a doozy!

 

GENRE:

Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

 

STARS:

I can’t rate it – I wrote it! but FIVE STARS, right???

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Robin E. Mason, Seasons Series, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring

 

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