A Short Love Story

Photo Credit: curvewire.com

Photo Credit: curvewire.com

Today I want to share with you a short story I wrote awhile ago. I’ve posted it on The Romantic Vineyard, since it’s a love story. But it also fits well with this blog on family history. I hope it stirs in your memory similar stories you’ve heard from parents or grandparents. Be sure your children and grandchildren know these stories, for it’s part of who they are. Knowing them also gives them direction for who they’ll become.

Click on the following title to read the story:

Vito’s Coffee Shop

Have You Heard of Goodreads?

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Have you heard of Goodreads? It’s a site dedicated to helping those who love to read connect with others who love to read. You can keep a running library of books you’ve read, books you want to read, and books you’re currently reading. It’s basically a social network for the literary-minded, and I love it!

When my book was published I added it to my library of books read. Imagine my delight when people started posting their thoughts on Through The Eyes Of Grace? Following is the first review I received from someone I don’t know. Her words are a huge encouragement to me, and I pray that more will come to find my book as a result of her review:

This is a novel based on the life of the author’s grandmother, Grace Kirwin. In 1904, Grace, Age 15, lived in Oklahoma Territory with her parents and siblings. The action begins almost immediately with a traumatic experience for Grace in chapter 1. Written in first-person point of view, we travel with Grace through her parents attempts to do what they think is best for her, her reactions to their choices, and her move to Indian Territory to live with a cousin and begin a new life. Nightmares and memories follow Grace, sometimes causing her to pull away from people. With the love of family and a special gentlemen, Grace successfully begins her new life.

This is an uplifing story and does not dwell on negative aspects of the events. Historical facts are plentiful and expertly woven into the context.

The book contains old family photos of the people in the story. Coupled with the excellent writing, this story comes to life on the page.

If you are already on Goodreads, won’t you share with us your thoughts about the site? What do you love about it? How has it helped you meet your reading goals?

I Promise…

Promoting a book can feel a lot like campaigning for political office. You have to talk about why you did what you did, why you want others to listen to you tell about it and hopefully, get your listeners to buy your product. It is awkward at times as self-promotion should be! Politicians, if they’re honest and have integrity, don’t want you to vote for them because you like them, they want you to vote for them because they truly believe their plan will be best for the office they’re seeking.

In the same way, I want people to buy my book not so the numbers will grow and I’ll be more popular. No, I want you to read my book because I believe my grandmother’s story is worth knowing. She was an amazing woman, and her life offers lessons for us all. If you’ve already purchased a copy of Through The Eyes Of Grace and read it, I want to say a huge Thank You!  Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am. Would you do a couple of things for me? First, tell your friends and family about it and share it on your Facebook page and/or Twitter account? Second, would you consider writing a review on Amazon for me? Reviews help other readers who know nothing of me or my book decide whether or not it is something they are interested in reading.

I’m grateful we no longer have to listen to the constant campaigning of the politicians promising us things they may or may not be able to accomplish. I pray my posts never feel like an empty campaign promise. Thanks for stopping by.

Prologue Part Two

Photo Credit: http://www.ehow.com

Today I’m sharing the last part of my book’s Prologue. I pray it will draw you to want to read more. In case you missed the first half you can read it here.

I was trapped.  As I plopped into the black leather seat, something crunched beneath me.  It was the gift I had seen on the table! I couldn’t deal with it, so I tossed it aside, not interested in the who or the why questions that had incensed me before the service.

Mama picked up the gift, “Gracelyn, this is for you.  Don’t you want to open it?”

“Um, no! Not now.”

“Why on earth not?”

“Oh, Mama! It’s just not right.”

“Gracelyn, I insist.  The giver may be at the dinner.  You’ll want to be sure to thank them.  I really think it best to open it now.”

Mama usually had the last word, and this time was no exception.  I had learned it was best to do as she said.  Picking up the gift I slowly ripped the paper away, revealing a stained wooden box smelling much like the old church we had just left.  Lifting the lid I discovered a worn out leather journal.

“What’s this?” I asked casually, hoping my excitement didn’t show.

“I’ve seen this before; why, it belonged to Mama.  See the engraving – Grace Stella Oswalt?”

As I opened the cover a note fell on the floor.  I picked it up to find Big Mama’s handwriting addressed to me.  The brief excitement drained from my fingertips as if the dead were calling my name.

“M-Mama, you read it.”  She took the slip of paper from my hand.

Dear Gracelyn,

I am an old woman now, and time is running out for me to share with you my story.  I’ve waited for you to ask, but now the waiting ends.  You are my youngest granddaughter, and one who reminds me so much of myself.  It is my prayer that as you read this journal you will grow in your understanding of who you are and to whom you belong.  Your life is not your own to live as you want.  I learned this the hard way, and I pray this journal will help you after I am long gone.  Read it well and remember although life is brief, love is forever.

Affectionately,

Big Mama

I sat there in disbelief as the limo came to a stop.  I wasn’t sure if I was happy to have this gift or angry she singled me out as needing special help.  Maybe it was a little of both, but as hard as it was to admit, I was comforted.

As we filed out of the limo and gathered around Big Mama’s grave, the familiar hymn began to play once more.  This time my voice sang through the tears to the grandmother I loved.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see.

My grandmother had offered me her hand with this gift, allowing me to see and learn about life through her eyes.  That night, alone in my room I opened the musty journal and began to read.