An Anniversary on Labor Day Weekend

Hello, Thursday morning readers—

Is there anything better than that first sip of that first cup of coffee of the day?

On this first Thursday in September, I thought I’d share a little something personal. We’ve just celebrated Labor Day, which is the Forty-Fourth anniversary of a first date.

It wasn’t a traditional date, however. I wasn’t actually with the guy I ended up married to. But we were on the same date.

I guess you might be wondering what I mean by that. Well, I was on a double-date. It was sort of a double blind date. Now I know for sure you’re wondering about it. 🙂

At the time, I was living in Columbia, Tennessee. I decided to visit a friend (Pam) in Louisville, Kentucky, and I thought it would be nice to invite one of my Tennessee friends (Carol) along for the ride. When Carol and I arrived, Pam told us she had a date on Saturday night, and hoped we wouldn’t mind. Being a kind and very attentive hostess, she couldn’t leave us unattended, so had been trying to set us up with dates of our own.

I was dubious, especially when I heard she’d only been able to secure a date for Carol. How humiliating was that? Pam explained that most of her friends my age were in college or seminary. Since it was a holiday weekend, they’d gone home to visit family. That was her story.

Her plan was for us to go to an outdoor concert at the Iroquois Park Amphitheater. It was a Christian event, and was supposed to be really good.

Carol was shy. Really, really, shy. So she didn’t care if we just hung out in our hotel room for the evening. But Pam was persistent. Once she decided on something, she was going to make it happen.

Mid-afternoon, Carol’s “date” rang the doorbell. Pam confessed to me that he wanted to “get a look at” her before going out. Hmm…

I accompanied Pam to the door, and as it opened, revealing Pam’s friend, Bob, something happened inside my heart. Something like a little bell ringing. No, I’m not kidding—it really happened. Well, either that, or an alarm went off somewhere in the house. I’m sticking with the “bell ringing in my heart” theory, though I didn’t really pay much attention at the time, other than to note it.

The guy at the door didn’t ring my bell. No way. His hair was too long, he had a mustache and “chops” (long sideburns for those unfamiliar with that term). Way too much hair, y’all.

Pam & Bob standing, Donna & Brenda seated. Not sure who the dog is.

I will admit, he had a nice smile and a great personality. We were soon joined by his best buddy, Rick. I knew Rick from school. We’d sat across the table from each other in Physical Science class, and spent a lot of time laughing. The class was taught by one of the school’s favorite teachers, who liked to take us on nature walks in spring. The smokers liked those nature walks, because they were allowed to smoke.

Back to the double-blind-date in process: I suggested we go out with Bob and Rick, and it not be a real date, just four friends going to a concert in the park. The plan was accepted, so Carol and I returned to our hotel room to get ready, and wait for our “non-dates” to pick us up.

When they arrived, Carol and I headed out, but there seemed to be some confusion at the car. Bob was in Rick’s face in some kind of low-voiced discussion. I heard a few words.

(Bob) “What do you think?”

(Rick) “I think we should leave it the way it was planned…wouldn’t be right…”

(Me) Hmm….

Bob opened the door for Carol, Rick opened a back door for me. So far, so good. We arrived at the park, the concert in progress. We sat, Bob and Carol, me and Rick. Bob kept leaning forward and talking to me in front of Carol. I thought it a bit odd.

The next day, Pam took me aside (actually took me into the bathroom and shut the door so no one would overhear). She told me Bob liked me. A lot. And wondered if I was interested.

Gee. He was younger than me. He had a lot of hair. He wore raggedy pants. And really, really short shorts. Actually, those were once blue jeans that had frayed back to almost nothing. The pockets were longer than the shorts. His tennis shoes had holes in them, too. I know, it was the seventies, and it was the style, but I had never really liked that look. Still better than droopy pants, though.

Before I left town, he asked if it would be all right if he wrote to me. I said why not. I think I actually did say that. I was a big believer in God’s perfect will and God’s perfect timing. If God was in a thing, it would come about.

The rest is history, as they say. Bob and I married on December 21st of that same year. Yes, I know that was only a few months later. It was crazy. But don’t ask if it was love. Bob will tell you one thing, I’ll tell you another. That’s because he’s a pragmatist, and I’m a romantic.

All I know, is we’re still a couple and pretty happy about it. And we’re still friends with Pam.

Book Sales and Tour Stops

Hello, Thursday morning readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful week. If not, it’s nearly over. 🙂

I have a short post today, because the blog tour for Rebecca’s Legacy is well under way.  (Hey that rhymes!)

So far, we’ve been to the following blogs (in case you missed them):

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Remembrancy, August 12

Inklings and notions, August 13

Baker Kella, August 14

proud to be an autism mom, August 15

And later today, we are here:

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 16

Reading is my Super Power, August 16 (Interview)

And the rest of the tour (in case you’re dropping in at a later date)

Janices book reviews, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 19

Carpe Diem, August 20

A Baker’s Perspective, August 21

Power of Words, August 22 (Spotlight)

margaret kazmierczak, August 23 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, August 24

NOTE: Some of these are in a different time zone, so may post later in the day.

I’d like to invite you to stop in at each one and enter the drawing for the $50 Amazon Gift Card. When you leave a comment on the tour stop blog, you receive nine extra entries! Wow, that’s generous.

Not only do you have a chance to win the gift card, but you’ll find a recipe for the yummy pie Amy and Matt enjoy at Gert’s Diner, en route to Perry’s Landing. Gert’s Diner may be make-believe, but the pie is real—one of my favorite old-fashioned recipes.

Have you read Rebecca’s Legacy? Please consider leaving a book review at Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews are like gold to writers. There’s no better way to express your appreciation. And it doesn’t have to be long or beautifully written. “This is a wonderful story,” is a perfect review, especially with lots of those yellow stars. Lol.

And if you haven’t read the book yet, the price has been lowered on the Kindle version for a limited time. Click the lovely meme below for more information!

In closing—may your day be blessed, and may you be a blessing wherever you go!

Click to Purchase!

Don’t forget, if you sign up for my newsletter, you get the novella, “Lake Frigid Aire” absolutely FREE! Thanks! Betty’s Newsletter

 

 

Character Interview – Rebecca’s Legacy

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! I’m so honored you stopped by. How do you take your coffee? I like a little half-and-half in mine.

I have a guest today! One of the characters from my upcoming release—Rebecca’s Legacy

Jack Emerson

Welcome to my blog, Jack Emerson. Jack is Amy Juliana Emerson’s elder brother. How are you, Jack?

Jack: “I’m great, thanks, happy to be here. I take my coffee black, by the way.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Of course, you do.” (Pours coffee) “Well, I’m sensing a deeper meaning in that simple statement, ‘happy to be here’. You’re happy to be alive, I think.”

Jack: “Yes, I am. Thank you for keeping me alive, not killing me off in that prison camp.” He sips his coffee.

Me: “Are you kidding? Amy would’ve killed me if I didn’t bring you back alive. No, Jack, one thing I’ve learned about you is, you’re a survivor.”

Jack: “Thanks for saying that. As I learned early on, bad things can and do happen. It’s how you handle what life throws at you that makes you the person you become. I chose a different path than what my parents expected of me, but they recognized it was right for me.” He pauses. “But this story’s not about me, is it? What would you like to know about my sister?” He grins. “I’m an open book.”

Me: “Good one, Jack. Okay, you’ve known Amy all her life, so tell us something only you would know about her.”

Jack: (Coughs behind his fist) “That I can get away with? You know she’s going to read this.”

Me: (My turn to laugh) “Hah! I hope she will. So, what can you share and still hold onto your skin?”

Jack: “She snores. Not loudly, but she snores. It’s funny. I’ve teased her a lot about it.”

Me: “But, you snore, too, Jack.”

Jack: “I know, but it’s okay if guys snore.”

Me: “I’ve always heard that. So, let’s talk about Amy. There’s a thing she does, to build herself up before she heads into a situation. When did that start, and why do you think she does it?”

Jack grins. “I’m sure you’re talking about the pep talk.” He grows more serious; thoughtful. “You know, she’s not as self-assured as people think. That’s pretty much all a mask. A ruse. She’s faking, big time. Don’t get me wrong, the girl’s got an ego. She’s always been a princess.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “She’ll bust my chops for calling her that—she hates it.” He grinned. “Which is why I always loved to say it. I’m afraid I pestered her quite a lot, growing up.”

Me: “Isn’t that what brothers are for? From what I’ve observed, you, Amy, and Bobby are all very close. You seem to really love each other.”

Jack: “Oh, absolutely. Even though I was—let’s see—twelve, when Bobby came along. Mother and Dad kept us together, kept us communicating. Dad was often away, and worked late when he was in town, but we spent holidays at Perry’s Landing. He made sure we were together at all the right times.”

Me: “That’s great. Something you can pass along to your own family.”

Jack: “Dad taught us more than that, let me tell you. We learned by example that hard work pays off. Yes, he inherited the business, but he earned every penny of it. His sacrifices were labors of love. He gives Great-grandmother Amelia all the credit for the corporation’s health and longevity, but he’s a lot of that reason, too. If he’s tough on us, that’s the reason. He wanted us to grow up with that same attitude, so we could step into his shoes and carry the baton forward, just as he did.”

Me: “I like that. And you’re right about your Dad. He is the reason the company has stayed strong. So, what does the future hold for you? Will you be the one to receive the baton?”

Jack: He shook his head. “Not me. That’s not my path, I can tell you that right now. It’s not in my blood. You know that.”

Me: “I do, but our readers don’t, unless they’ve read Amelia’s Legacy. There’s a little-known secret about Jack Emerson that only readers of that first book know.”

Jack: “Good thing Amelia’s Legacy is a free download during the upcoming release.” He glanced around. “Oops, is that a secret?” He winked. “Did I let the cat out of the bag?”

Me, laughing: “No, I was going to announce the free e-book at the end of this interview. I have no problem with you doing it.”

Jack, faces you, the reader: “So, if you don’t know, or maybe don’t remember what we’re talking about that’s only revealed in Book 1, Amelia’s Legacy, don’t miss the free download on release day.” He frowns. “What is an e-book, anyway?”

Me: “That’s complicated. Your great-grand kids are going to love it, though.”

Jack: “I’ll take your word for it. I know this, your readers are going to fall in love with Amy. She’s a beauty with a heart of gold. She grew up a lot that summer. I’m proud of the woman she’s becoming.”

Me: “Thanks, Jack. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.”

Jack: “Oh, no problem.” Eyes on the reader again. “See you in Rebecca’s Legacy. Be sure you buy the book. Hey, it’s only a buck and some change.”


Readers, you’ll find my newsletter sign-up in the right sidebar (← looks like this). You can click on that big square in the sidebar to sign up. I will never share your email address with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time. There will be freebies and giveaways that will only go out to my newsletter patrons. All new sign-ups will receive a free novella – Lake Frigid Aire – a quirky little mystery I wrote.

You won’t miss out, though, if you’re already receiving my newsletter. There will be other opportunities to win, AND not long after the release, you’ll find it online for only 99¢ Thanks so much! See you next week!

Another Thursday Morning

Hello! Can you believe it’s already Thursday morning? I’m beginning to think there are two per week, they  come around so fast. Life is zipping by…

The hot summer weather we’re enduring reminds me of my latest young heroine, Amy Emerson. She was “sentenced” to a summer of service by dear old Dad. The first few days were sheer torture for this big city debutante.

I remember summers on Grandma’s farm in West Tennessee. The nights were so hot, sometimes it was hard to sleep. The days in the hot sun were worse, but we were busy working in the fields or the garden, so the days went by fast.

Back at the house, we made straight for the window fan, sat in front of it until the sweat dried and we’d cooled down enough to talk into the fan and laugh at the funny sound of our voices.

It’s amazing how wonderful a breeze feels, or the shade of a thick oak tree. We  carried ice water in bell jars, which we left beneath the trees to keep cool. We had to wear long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats to shield ourselves from the brutal, southern sun. Any exposed skin could mean a second- or third-degree burn. It was serious business.

What about you? Did you ever work outside in the summer? Or lived without air conditioning?

At home, our family of five shared a single bathroom. I was the only girl, so sometimes having time to myself was difficult. I could commiserate with Amy when she had to wait in line for a chance at a bath, and then the water was no longer hot.

Although, I think she should have been glad to have a bathroom. Grandma’s farm had no indoor plumbing. We had to tote buckets of water in from the well. The “bathroom” was an outhouse in the yard. A bath was taken in a large, galvanized tub on a Saturday night, so everyone would be clean for Sunday. These days, I wouldn’t really call that clean, since I was seldom first in line for the shared bath water. Yuck!

I survived, and so did Amy, though more hardships awaited her down the road. Sometimes, life hits a rough spot and it seems like it will never let up. But, then it does, and all those troubles end up in the rear view mirror, rolling farther and farther into the past. That’s when you’re thankful for the grace of God that got you through.

I was reminiscing with my mom the other day about our trips to the beach when we lived in San Diego, California. I remembered watching with great anticipation, sometimes stretching over the back of the front seat, trying to catch that first glimpse of dark, blue water. And then we topped a hill, or rounded a curve, and there it was—in all of its glory—the great Pacific Ocean.

The sight sent shivers down my spine. There’s a scene like that in Rebecca’s Legacy, when Amy catches a glimpse of sea. She begs to stop so she can get out and feast her eyes on the view, smell the salt air, and listen to the roar of the waves.

Rebecca’s Legacy happens one summer. So, many of my beloved summer memories made their way into the story. I am so excited to share it with you.

We have grand plans for the release of Rebecca’s Legacy, and the festivities will begin very soon. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming my latest story to the world.


What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress that the greatest legacy is love?

Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter Amy Juliana is doing her best to follow in Mom’s rebellious footsteps.

Her desperate attempt to escape Dad’s control comes at the worst possible time. A threat against their family and Sanderson Industries has Robert Emerson taking extra steps to guarantee his family’s safety. He sends Amy, an heiress and a debutante, to the country to work on a produce farm run by Aunt Rebecca. Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home, away from Dad’s protection.

Will Aunt Rebecca’s quiet strength and unconditional love be enough to still the prodigal daughter’s rebellious ways, and open her heart to the plight of others around her?

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to help keep his daughter in line. She thinks the guy is an old fuddy-duddy. By the time her ideas about him begin to change, it may be too late. When an old friend tests her loyalty, she is forced to face her past to overcome a guilty conscience. But, is she playing into the hands of the enemy?

Release date: August 7, 2018

The Legacy Series is a Wrap

Hello, it’s Thursday morning. This may come as a surprise to some of you. That Monday holiday really messes with your mind schedule. 🙂

I’m celebrating with a second cuppa coffee this morning! I turned in the galley for the final book in the Legacy series. Kind of sad. I’m going to miss the Emerson clan.

Just in case you’re wondering what a galley is–maybe you’re familiar with the term when it refers to a narrow kitchen, or a boat (or ship) propelled by oars. Well, it’s also the mock-up version of a book. Kind of like a “proof”. Authors receive a galley copy for a final read-through of their masterpiece. This is their last chance to correct any errors still hiding in the prose.

Rebecca’s Legacy was a joy to write! I’ve wanted to tell Amy’s story since the day she was born. I was there, you know—halfway through book 1, Amelia’s Legacy. The newborn Amy Juliana Emerson looked like a little doll.

She’s still pretty cute. I hope my readers will love her as much as I do.

Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7. Be watching for special events and a couple giveaways as the day approaches.