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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 8 August 2018 – A DAY IN THE LIFE – SIMONE DUBOIS BISHOP

BLOGWORDS – A DAY IN THE LIFE – SIMONE DUBOIS BISHOP

 

Today I’m blogging over at

http://www.abakersperspective.com/

Pop on over and say hullo!

 

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

 

Bonjour. My name is Simone Bishop. I’ve been invited to tell you all about my day, and I must say I’m a tad baffled. There’s nothing special about me. I’m an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life. Rather like any other woman of my station in 1914.

 

I suppose, though, that recent events have shed light on my, er, shall we say, conflicted life. And as such, have also piqued interest in what my days are like.

 

To begin, Yeto and I have settled in Russellville, not far from Pearl and Rolf. Our Rowan has just had his first birthday, and I must say the bulk of my day is chasing after him. If anyone had thought I’d have a nanny or governess, they were wrong; as it turned out, no one thought such. I’ve been apart from my family for so long, nothing will come between me and them again, especially my children.

 

Cece is five now, and she reads her stories the same as her namesake. She’s quite introspective, that one—just as my dear friend Mercedes.

 

As for my days. Ro awakens the house with the roosters. Not that we have roosters, as we are in the town. He is a monkey, climbing on anything—not so unlike me, I suppose, when I was a child. We’ve had to barricade the stairs at the top, as his crib does not contain him. Most mornings I awaken to him sitting on the floor next to our bed. On his papá’s side, of course. Yeto is a remarkable man, and takes our son to change him and dress him, then takes him downstairs with him while he cooks our breakfast. Leaving me to get dressed, and get Cece dressed. She, too, awakens early, but so different to her brother, she waits in her room with her books or her dollies until I come to get her dressed. She is at least like me regarding her hair; she does not like any fuss with her hair, and I have, in fact, had it recently cut.

 

We enjoy a grand breakfast—my Yeto is a superb chef—before he leaves for his new restaurant, Bishop House Restaurant. On sunny days, I take the children for a stroll to the park. Even at just a year, Ro resists riding in the pram. He has climbed out on more than one occasion, most recently in the middle of the street with an auto fast approaching. I have deferred to fastening a harness about his waist and chest that is attached to a short cord. I feel as though I’m walking one of the dogs, but if it keeps my child safe, c’est la vie. On rainy days we go to the library instead. Wherever we go, Cece pushes her own tiny little pram with her favorite dolly, Dorothy, so named for the little girl in her favorite book, The Emerald City of Oz. Cece tucks her Dorothy under a pink satin blanket. Ro, of course, carries his wooden train engine everywhere we go, proclaiming to everyone who passes by, “Choo! Choo! Choo!” And quite loudly, too.

 

After lunch, I put the children down for their naps, and I must confess I was rather at a loss as to how to occupy my time. I’ve never been the reader like Mercedes or Pearl, and though I learned how to sew, I have neither the talent nor the skill our Scarlett has. Needlepoint and embroidery has never held interest for me. I much prefer being out, bustling about. Not so much climbing to the top of our Versailles, or the barn roof anymore, but visiting and tending laboring mothers. With the tumult of the past two years, though, I’ve hardly tended any births, and none since Rowan was born.

 

I have maintained correspondence with my friends in Saisons. I correspond quite frequently with Tante Vivienne and Papá and Mercedes and Scarlett. Papá, I’m happy to say, is doing famously. He is quite recovered from his madness, and is living in an apartment in the manor house. Violet is blissfully married and off on her wedding trip, and Suzi has not forsaken her passion for women’s suffrage, but has discovered a different passion—her strapping twin sons, Will and Georgie.

 

These past years have piqued a new interest for me, as well—mystery and intrigue. I have surprised myself by delving into some of Mercedes’ detective stories. But the biggest surprise to me of all, is that I have tried my hand at penning my own stories. I’m sure I’m no great judge of literature, but I must say I do rather like the stories I’ve put to paper. I have decided to send one to Mercedes under a nom de plume, Cyrus Woods.

 

Afternoons are spent in a variety of ways. We walk to Bishop’s at least once each week, and drive out to Pearl and Rolf’s farm. Bonnie is such a tiny girl compared to my Rowan, even though she’s a few weeks older. Cece has quite taken Bonnie under her wing, and leads her about like her own living dolly.

 

I’ve hired a piano instructor to give the children lessons. Of course, only Cece is learning just now. I remember afternoon tea quite fondly from my younger childhood years, and am teaching the tradition to Cece, though far less formal. I’ve made grand new friends here in Russellville, and we visit one another several times during the week. They all have small children and it makes for quite the boisterous and entertaining afternoons. We play croquet and tennis, or go riding on bicycles.

 

Yeto may own Bishop’s but he is no slave to it; he is there of a morning, overseeing luncheon preparations, and then through the afternoon doing what he loves best—cooking. And he does create the most divine dishes. Only two or three nights does he remain at work. The rest of the time, he is home to have supper with me and the children. I learned to cook when—well, never mind that. Suffice to say, I can prepare a fair meal. Still, we hired a cook and housekeeper to allow me more devoted time with the children. Hattie met Yeto’s standards, and we’ve not been disappointed with a meal yet.

 

I have also come to enjoy the piano, and have polished what feeble skills I ever did have. After dinner, we sit in the front room and Yeto tells me anecdotes of his day, and I regale him with the children’s antics. He sings to the children at bedtime, and once they are asleep, Yeto and I sit in the swing on the front porch, or we go for a stroll through the park. Hattie lives with us and she is happy to sit with Cece and Ro while we’re out.

 

Not so much an exciting life, but quite grand all in all. Quite grand for me, leastways, as I never imagined such a happy and normal life. I suppose my life now is far more an adventure than anything I ever dreamed as a child. Certainly, it’s more exhilarating even, than climbing to the top of Versailles.

 

 

#Blogwords, Guest Post, A Day in the Life, Simone Dubois Bishop, The Whispering Winds of Spring

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BLOGWORDS – 30 June 2018 – NEWSLETTER – a little birdie told me

30 June 2018

Edition VIII

 

 

 

Bird Call

HALLLOOO!!! Tell me who you are and where you’re at!

 

The Bird House Book Club

What I am / have been reading!

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Beneath the Surface by Lynn Blackburn

A Sparrow at Terezin by Kristy Cambron

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Echoes by Kristen Heitzmann

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

Façade by Pepper Basham

Bayou Justice by Robin Caroll

 

What are you reading?

 

Friends of Authors Society

Who knows the best way to show your love for your favorite authors? (I’m one, right? Your favorite?) Besides the obvious of buying and reading my books, leaving a review on Amazon tickles their calculations and formulas and moves my books up in their ranks, which in turn means more peeps see my books, which means more peeps are likely to buy them.

There are other things you can do, as well. Suggest my books to your library or book club. Tell your friends, buy gift copies to give to your friends. Heck, tell ME how much you love ‘em!

 

 

Robin E. Mason, Author and Artist – Facebook Page

FIVE HUNDRED LIKES, ya’ll!!!  WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!! And a big thank you!!!

 

 

Robin’s Readers Flock

(still) New on Facebook—a group just for my readers!! Fifty members and growing! And we’re having fun!

I appreciate every one who has read or will read my books, and this group is for you!

“This group, as with my blog and website—and my writing—are all about community and family. It is a place to gather to chat and discuss my books, but also to become better acquainted and to encourage and pray for one another.”

If you’re interested, gimme a holla! I’d love to have you as part of my Flock!

 

Robin’s Nest, Stories by Design

Executive decision—the blog is on summer break, aka R&R, through August. Perhaps some mini-reviews, and I already have the fellas lined up for Manly Man July Interview Blitz in August, so there’s that at least…

 

Seasons, the Series

IT’S DONE! COMPLETES! FINIS!!

All four books are released and out in the world!!

 

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.

 

The Long Shadows of Summer

The Tilting Leaves of Autumn

The Silent Song of Winter

The Whispering Winds of Spring

 

 Seasons is ONE | GIANT | STORY, told by four main characters, each with their own contribution and perspective to the story. One set of characters, one fictional setting, one timeframe to research (1912 – 1913.) Get your copies today:

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S
Or email me for your signed print copies! $20 each

 

New Writing Genre…

…CHILDREN’S STORIES!

Something I’ve noodled with for a while, and when neighbor kids started asking me for a story, well, I set my digital pen to the task. The Adventures of Charley the Horse is a mid-grade story.

 

 

Coming in 2019

FourSquare, the Series

Book 1, One for the Price of Two, in which twins Bethy and Mere are so identical their parents can’t even tell them apart. In a departure from the dark tone that creeps through my earlier stories, One for Two ventures into RomCom—quite the change-up for me!

 

The Steppe House

And in another effort I’ve not attempted, I will attempt to juggle two serieses. (is that a word?) The Steppe House. is a literary tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright. The house in the story—the Steppe House—is fashioned after Mr. Wright’s Falling Water House. Built into the side of a mountain, each of seven (I think) levels is home to a different family, each with their own story. It’s set in the 1940’s, a la Dame Agatha Christie, along the lines of Ten Little Indians (And Then There Were None,) and there is a character named Francis Llewellyn Wiggins; beyond that, I don’t know much about it at all. And in yet another new trick for this author, Agnes Renaldi, daughter of Mercedes Renaldi of The Long Shadows of Summer. In her forties and married now, to architect Alan Steppe, Aggie is a former opera star and childless.

 

BUT FIRST

A Christmas novella, The Key on the Christmas Tree.

* not the final cover

I started this story a while back as part of a series, The Key, and have a short story, The Key in the Mailbox, included in an anthology by my friend, Mary Blowers, Blood Moon, and can be found on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Moon-Anthologies-Heart-2/dp/1511811897/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

All in the Family

HOLLA!! After 20+ years working restaurant business, my oldest son, Doug, has a new job in a new field! Hello nights and weekends OFF!!!

Son #2, Russell, is a biker. He has ridden in the Ride for a Cure for a couple of years, and will be riding again this summer. The link for anyone who would care to donate (or share) is:

 

https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2?idb=1450210931&df_id=35220&35220.donation=form1&FR_ID=10937&mfc_pref=T&PROXY_ID=13229140&PROXY_TYPE=20

 

My poor daughter, Maggie, has had a most horrific struggle with asthma complicated by allergies and, sadly, smoking; I have read / heard that is the single most difficult addiction to break! She’s had a few set-backs, but she is really making the effort to be smoke free!

 

The Knewbie Kneebie, Part 2

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be recovering at home. One of my besties, K, will be staying with me for a few days and after she leaves I’ll have help coming in every day as well as home PT for the first few weeks.

 

 

Manifesto and Author Tag

The manifesto short version is,

“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 of the Word of God.”

And my author tag:

“the battle for identity, one story at a time.”

 

Chatcha’ll next time.

Got questions? Email me at robinemason212@gmail.com.

Here endeth Edition VIII of

Thank you for subscribing!

 

 

 

http://robinemason.com

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Robin.E.Mason/

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212
http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

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

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

 

 

 

 

“the battle for identity, one story at a time”

 

 

 

#Blogwords, #newsletter, A Little Birdie Told Me, Roll Call, Bird House Book Club, Friends of Authors Society, Robin E. Mason Facebook Author Page, 500 Likes, Robin’s Readers Flock, Seasons, the Series, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Spring, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Children’s Stories, The Adventures of Charley the Horse, Coming in 2019, FourSquare, The Steppe House, The Key on the Christmas Tree, All in the Family, The Knewbie Kneebie, Manifesto and Author Tag

 

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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 – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 31 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

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

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

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

I wondered sometimes, how was ma mère. Was she doing well? Did she maintain her vile and lurid behaviors? Had her clandestine carryings-on caught up to her? Had she met her demise?

I wondered how would it be to see her again. And I wondered what would she think of being une grandmère. Would she adore my little girl, my Mercedes? Or would she loathe her as she loathed me?

Cece was sitting up now, and trying to crawl. Everything her little hands could grasp went into her mouth, including my own fingers. And her little teeth were sharp as razors.

Her smile was as bright as sunshine, and warmed my heart like nothing else; I had not known such encompassing love, not even with Yeto. His love held my heart, for certes.

But the love I bore for my child, it had changed me. I was at once sure of her place in my heart and terrified I might ruin her forever.

What if I was like Mamá? What if I became the monster I knew her to be? What if the sickness that plagued her—for surely it was a sickness; surely she wasn’t as she was by her own choice—what if it was in me? What if I carried the same sickness…

But non! Surely not. I had the love of a good man. Strong and good and caring. Surely, Yeto was passionate with me, loving me as I had never imagined. But never did he strike me. Barely had we spoken cross words.

The man was a saint. My heart did a little tumble in my chest, pitter pat, pitter pat, to think of the times I had doubted his love, his integrity—his intentions. Enyeto had stood by my side, reassuring me, affirming his love for me. Time and time again, constant, sure.

Even more remarkable were the times—so rare now—that I railed. On and on I cried and wept, ranting at the behaviors of men. The abuses I had seen, the intimacies I had been privy to. And my husband stood quietly by my side, holding my hand or stroking my hair, waiting for the storm to subside. He spoke loving words to me, his soothing words a balm, healing to my heart and soul. And to my memories.

Memories that were now faded, but a dim shadow, cloaked away with the ghosts of other memories. Memories of a happy time. Memories of years before Walden Plantation. Memories of…

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

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.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““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, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 26 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

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

 

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

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“Of course, you know we were married.” I sat now with the Colonel, just the two of us at Alés House—now my home. “But I did wonder would he ever propose.”

The Colonel laughed and tugged on his cigar. “You, my dear, are a fragile one. And I bow to your man for recognizing that. I dare say he knew a good thing when he had it, and didn’t wish to scare you off.”

“Scare me off?” I sipped at my tea, and shifted as the babe stretched.

“Tell me, Harmonia.” Ashes from the cigar flitted down to the floor. “Had he asked you to be his wife sooner, when you were wet behind the ears still, would you have accepted?”

“Wet behind the ears?” I hooted with laughter, and pressed my hand against my belly. “Me? My dear Colonel, I was hardly wet behind the ears.”

“Naïve, no.” He had read my meaning. “Lissette stripped that from you, much to my great sorrow.”

“Colo—” His raised finger interrupted me.

“You learned and knew far more than any lady should ever know of a man’s nature.”

“But you…”

“My dear.” The Colonel’s voice overlapped mine, diminishing it in the shadow and depth of his own. “I am a man, as base as we come. I’ve seen things—the ugliest things. But I know propriety and decorum, and I choose the better thing.”

He stood then and stretched, went to the window. “Let’s walk, shall we? It’s a most lovely day.”

It was lovely, mild for the first days of June, sunny with tempering clouds, and an easy breeze stirring.

“You, Little Harmonia, were a scared little rabbit.” He patted my hand and snugged it in the crook of his tweed-sleeved arm. “You knew and saw much. But it was distorted and vile what you saw. Your man, what he gave you was not that. What he gave you was a most precious gift.”

For all that the Colonel was a giant of a man, and his work—I never did know what exactly it was he did—in the darkest recesses of humanity, it might have made him an angry and violent and bitter man. But it did not.

Non, the Colonel was most tender and thoughtful and considerate, and he always knew the best in a person.

“He did, yes.” Awe stilled my voice, and trilled in my heart at the man I now called husband.

“Ah, yes. Le Seigneur always knows what the heart needs most.”

We walked in companionable silence, serenaded as we were by nature itself, the folding of water over the rippled mud, the trill of birds as they danced in the sky. The sway of trees as the wind brushed the sky.

“How did you know?” We had walked to the end of the boardwalk, and turned back, stopped to sit in the gazebo that perched over the marsh.

He reached into his jacket, and pulled out another cigar. “I was watching you.” Smoke twirled along on the breeze.

“That was you?” I had known someone trailed me, but hadn’t known who. I hadn’t known the Colonel then, leastwise, I hadn’t remembered knowing him, and the realization that he was the one—

“No, dear girl.” He held the cigar out over the railing. “I’m not seen when I’m trailing someone.”

“What…” The sense of dread and unease washed over me, a surge like an undertow, tumbling me back into murky depths. “But…”

“I guarded you.”

From who?

“Capps had—has—dirty dogs who jump when he barks.” If he thought levity would ease the rising panic, it failed. “Fellows, scalawags, who scrabbled for the scraps and bones he might toss their way.”

“Dogs, Colonel? Really?” Indignity and insult temporarily edged out the panic.

“Capps is a dog, no doubt about it.”

“Isn’t he the one you said… some operation? Lissette was involved?”

“The very one.”

“He was following me?”

“You were in association with Lissette.”

“Not association. Non, never.”

“He wouldn’t know that.” The Colonel pulled another drag of his cigar, the tip bright and hot and angry red. “Nor would he care. You were close with her, lived with her. Whatever you saw or heard, it was too much.”

“He wanted…” What? What had he wanted?

“He wants you dead.”

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

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.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““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, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

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

 

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

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – EXCERPT

 

“Simone, where are you taking us?” Pearl always did whine; she was so prissy and didn’t like to get dirty. She ought to have been a princess.

Pearl should have been my dearest friend. She and I were, after all, the same station in life. But Mercedes was as a sister to me and I was closer to her than anyone. She knew me so well, understood me. It was uncanny, really, that she should. Mercedes was a reflection of me, in counterpoint to my whim and caprice she was staid and steady.

Mercedes’ mamá was our housekeeper at Saisons House. And she was two years ahead of me and Pearl. But ma mère et grandmère were kind to our servants; it was as though they were family. And as young girls, Mercedes was permitted to play with me.

She and I got on famously. She read stories of great adventures, and I liked to explore and have great adventures. I don’t know why Pearl ever wanted to play with us; she had a sister, after all, but she always preferred to come to Saisons House of an afternoon.

Scarlett came to Saisons House to play, too. Her mamá and mine were dear friends, and they often came for tea. Scarlett’s sister, Avalina, joined us some days but not always. Scarlett was a tiny girl, and younger than me and Pearl. But she was sassy and spirited, and never lagged behind.

“Why Pearl, it’s a great adventure.” And Scarlett charged ahead of even me, picking through the bare path I had forged earlier.

“What is this place?” Always the sensible one, Mercedes asked the logical questions but failed to see the magic in a thing.

“It looks like a castle.” Scarlett was a tiny slip of a girl but her imagination was not tiny at all.

“Or maybe a dungeon,” I suggested.

“Good grief, Simone.” Pearl crossed her arms and stamped her foot. “It’s no castle. And we certainly have no dungeons here.”

“Oh, what do you know about it, Pearl? You’ve never been in a dungeon.”

“I’ve seen a dungeon.” Her look of disdain changed to one of smug superiority.

“Ha! There’s no dungeons around here.”

“There are in Paris.” She was the only one of us who had ever sailed to France.

“Well.” I defended my argument. “This could be a dungeon.”

“You can’t see the sky in a dungeon.” She narrowed her eyes at me. “Or the trees.”

Pearl and I sniped back and forth for several minutes before Mercedes stepped between us. “Look, you two. It was once a church. See up there?” She indicated a round opening high in what remained of a stone wall. “That was where a window was.”

I scrambled on the wall, the part nearer to where we stood, where it was but a couple of feet high.

“Do get down from there, Simone.” Pearl reasserted her chastising demeanor. “It’s most unladylike.”

Her scolding only urged me higher, though, and soon my feet were well above their heads. “Look at me!” I cried. “I’m a mountain lion.”

“Do have a care, Simone.” Scarlett offered her genuine concern. “You could fall.”

“I’m not going to fall.” And to prove my point, I climbed higher, till I was standing at the pinnacle of the wall, directly above the round opening. “See?”

All three of them then begged and pleaded and urged me to come down. I sat instead.

“I’m not going to fall.”

 

Amidst the clamor of confusion, can she hear the whisper of her memories?

 

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.

 

Simone Dubois’ life was unraveling. All she had known and held dear was gone from her. At ten, all she wanted was to escape beneath the black waters of the Edisto River. She couldn’t know her whole life would be stolen from her.

 

When she returns to Saisons sixteen years later, she has no memory of ever having been there. Not even that it was her birthplace. Enlisting the help of her childhood friend, Mercedes—whose name stayed with her, if in shadowy dreams only—Simone encounters misty memories, and stirs up more mystery than she started with.

 

 

 

““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, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Excerpt

Read Full Post »

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