Over the Hill Love

Hello! Thursday MorningHello, Thursday Morning readers! I’m so glad you’re here. I’m writing another chapter of my latest work-in-progress, and I just realized something.

My main character is … well … kind of “over the hill.” She’s not a young chick, not even a pullet (that’s an adolescent chick). She’s already been married, raised two sons. She’s a grandma! chicken, hen, dominecker

She might be in love with her next-door neighbor. He’s a real hottie, though he’s also up there in years. Yes, they’re both approaching fifty, and love is definitely knocking at the door.

I’ve read a lot of books about young love. Falling in love, and getting married—I used to dream about it. Then it happened to me. I guess you could say I’m living the dream. I’m content where I am, but it’s still fun to read the stories.

Lately, I’ve read a few love stories that feature older couples. In fact, I’ve seen several movies on television, too. It’s kind of refreshing, because you know, it happens. All the time. Couples divorce, or one of them dies, leaving the other all alone. Some are content to stay single, others are … not.

I met a man at my church who remarried within a year of his elderly wife’s death, because  he “couldn’t be alone.” His new wife joked that his late wife had done everything for him, so he literally couldn’t be alone.

This is not the case with the guy in my book. Tom Franklin’s been single for many years. He’s lived on his own all that time. He’s a successful businessman, but he’s lonely. He grew up with Annabelle Wade (now Cross). He loved her in high school, and hoped to one day marry her. But she ran off and married a sailor. Now she’s back, and he can’t get her out of his head, or his heart.casal-1818171_1280

Will these two end up together? I hope so, but there are some definite problems in their way, and who knows? Maybe they’ll decide it’s better to stay single. That’s a realistic ending, isn’t it?

What do you think? Do you like reading an “over-the-hill” romance?

 

 

I Love You Because

Hello, and welcome to another Thursday morning! It’s officially Autumn. The leaves of our dogwood tree are starting to turn from green to red, triggering a poignant memory…

“Why do the leaves turn color, Mama?”

I looked at my four-year-old son, then back at the dogwood tree in the middle of our yard. The small tree was always the first to display red and orange leaves. Did I know the answer to his question? “The sun shines less this time of year, so the leaves don’t make as much chlorophyll.” I almost ended with a question mark, because I wasn’t quite sure my answer was right. I’d pretty much bombed out in biology.

My little boy frowned and shook his head. “No, Mama, God paints ‘em.”

“Okay. Why did you ask if you already knew the answer?”

He shrugged before bouncing away to join his brothers playing in the court.
My son was certain of his answer, whether scientifically correct, or based on his four-year-old trust mentality.

It made me wonder, why do we ask questions when we already know the answer? Are we hoping the answer will change?

My son had an inquisitive mind. He asked me questions throughout the day for days on end. Sometimes I grew tired of coming up with answers. I may have gotten snippy a time or two.

We taught our children to believe the impossible, that God created the universe by speaking it into existence. His words started a chain of events that centuries later, resulted in the natural beauty around us—the red, orange, and golden leaves in fall. So, maybe He had painted the leaves in the beginning…but why?

Lost in thought, I didn’t hear my son’s approach until he draped his arms around my neck and hugged me.

“I love you, Mama.”

My heart overflowed. “Why do you love me?”

He rested his head against my shoulder. “Just because.”

Perfectly Imperfect

Hello! Thursday MorningHello, Thursday Morning readers! Coffee’s on. While I’m waiting for it, how many of you read suspense?

I just read a really good one.

I promised a book review a couple weeks ago, then got sidetracked. Yeah, well  it happens. Elizabeth Noyes, one of my fellow Write Integrity Press authors recently released the final book in her action-packed, suspenseful Imperfect series. I’ve loved every one of them, so of course I was anxious to read this one.

Welcome to the “Triple C” — home of the characters in this series — a beautiful horse ranch in Idaho. It’s not your ordinary home, though. It’s kind of like a compound. The Cameron brothers are not only tall, dark, and handsome, but also somewhat lethal. Each of the books features a different Cameron sibling, including the beautiful twin sisters.

Of all the Cameron brothers, Jonas is the one I thought would never settle down. He’s special forces, haunted by his past. A highly trained, skilled warrior with PTSD. He’s dangerous to be around, or so it seems. Can he really leave his past behind?

Shea Townsend has a chip on her shoulder, but a soft spot for Jonas. She sees right through the heavy armor he wears, even when he thinks he’s heavily cloaked. But he’s a wild card. Can she trust him? She’s been thrown before, so she’s taking it slow.

As the story moves forward, sometimes at the speed of sound with plenty of action, we learn Shea’s past and why she’s so distrustful. And maybe why she’s such a perfect fit for this last Cameron. Maybe.

Just about the time I thought I could take a breath, something happened and the story took off again.

Right up until the end, I was holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. My friend, Betty Noyes is a master storyteller. She writes tight, exciting suspense, and she does her research. That much is obvious. I highly recommend this series, and especially this final book. But I have to admit, I’m a little sad that the Camerons rode into the sunset.

I’ll be watching the horizon to see what’s next from this author.

Have a blessed weekend!

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Back to the Land of Ruth

Happy Thursday morning! Coffee needed and keep it coming! We’ve had an extremely wet week in our neck of the woods. I’m hoping for sunshine and maybe a little more summertime.

I’ve spent several weeks in memory mode, contemplating my future writing. Now, it’s time to return to the story of Ruth. Once again, I’m immersing myself in the beautiful Biblical story. Once I’ve studied it, I’ll re-read Annabelle’s Ruth and Sutter’s Landing.

This past week, I’m also researching my setting for the third and final book in the Kinsman Redeemer series. Something caught my interest, and may find it’s way into the story line. If you are of a certain age, and lived in the southeastern region of the United States, you may remember what happened in the late fifties/early sixties.

Jackson, Tennessee, just a short drive south from my rural setting, was often in the news in those days. It’s the home of Lane College, a traditionally all-black college (during that time), associated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. Several brave young men and women took it upon themselves to force the desegregation issue by staging “sit-ins” at area drug store soda fountains (like the one in my stories).

This, and several other “powder-keg” events happened during the timeline of book three. So, of course, I need to find a way to incorporate it in the story.

Back to the present: the church I attend is culturally and racially diverse. Though comparatively small, our congregation has a wonderful balance. Right now, under the leadership of our pastor, we are studying The Third Option by Miles McPherson. It’s a book about honor and respect, and learning to love your neighbor without prejudice.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect. One of the main reasons I’ve been able to handle the racial issues in the first two books in this series with grace, is the balance in my life. I believe it is directly tied to interaction and fellowship with my church family—a vibrant group of men and women united by their love for God and each other.

At one time in the south, it didn’t matter whether a person was Polynesian or Haitian, or African, or even Latin or Native American. They were considered a lesser race. Even a person of mixed race was denied the privilege to marry a Caucasian at one time. So my main character in books one and two had a couple of hurdles ahead of her.

Why even include this in my story? Why did I need the racial element in Annabelle’s Ruth? Consider the original story. If you’re familiar with the book of Ruth, you’ll remember that she was a foreigner, a Moabitess. She left her home, where she was in the majority, and traveled to Naomi’s homeland, where a Moabite was definitely a minority, and subject to prejudice. It is obvious from content that a Moabite looked different.

Ruth earned something dear—God’s blessing—through her loyalty to Naomi, one of God’s chosen.

As I complete this series, I need to finish with a bang and tie up all the loose ends. I believe I’ll find what I need in the pages of the original story. I can’t wait to find out what happens!

Coffee with a Pioneer?

Hello, Thursday morning friends! I hope you’re enjoying a successful week.

It’s been an interesting one for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a vacation. I haven’t had one of those in a couple of years.

But not yet.

Lately, I’ve been reminiscing here on the blog. There’s a reason for that. I’m working on possible plots for future stories, and wondering which path to take first. I have a couple of ideas and the freedom to choose.

Some of you may have traced your family and found interesting folks and stories along the way. I haven’t done that, but some of my cousins have. My mother’s family traces back to Scotland in the 16th century. They came to Virginia and raised tobacco. Some of them moved west to Missouri. One was a Union sympathizer with a beard down to his waist. I read that he was not a popular guy. But his son dressed like a cowboy. He went to Arkansas and later, to Texas where he settled in the panhandle.

He was my grandpa’s grandfather. His son married and had four sons, but died in his forties. His wife, my great-grandma Christy, married her late sister’s husband. Think about that one. I suppose there were children involved that needed both parents to survive. Or, maybe they were in love.

I always admired my Great-Grandma Christy. She was a pioneer, and pioneers were tough. This time, I do have a picture. That’s Grandpa in the middle. He’s the second-youngest. His two older brothers were twins. Redheads, and don’t they look like trouble?

The Christy Family, circa 1911-1912

Folks didn’t smile for their pictures back then, but sometimes personalities shone through. Just as you can easily read the mischief in the faces of the twins, you can’t miss the hint of a smile on Great-Grandma’s face.

I wonder what it would’ve been like to visit her at home in those days? Would she offer coffee? Not in a Texas summer, I’ll bet. But in winter, she’d have a roaring flame in the cook stove and maybe brew coffee in an enamel pot.

This photo has always fascinated me. The first time I saw it, I wondered how my younger brother Ed could be in such an old photograph. That man on the left, my great-grandfather Christy—looks a lot like my younger brother—even the way he combed his hair.

I may be finished traveling memory lane. I really don’t know what’s up next. I’m reading a really good book. If I finish in time, I may write a review.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join me on Saturday at the Plainview Barnes and Noble. Here’s an official invitation: