Thursday, April 29, 2021

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Beth Wilson & Allen Hamilton ~ Once Upon An Irish Summer ~ by ~ Wendy Wilson Spooner

Beth Wilson ~ Present Day Timeline:

Hi, I'm Bethy Wilson, a crazy-cool gifted artist (well, that's what my best guy-friend says) and I'm about to start my junior year of high school—if I survive the most boring summer of my life. Why boring you ask? Ugh. It’s supposed to be fun right? Summer is when you do all the stuff you want to do when school's out, right? Nope. Not happening. I'm on my way to stay with my grandmother for the entire summer, a thousand miles from my friends and my perfect art studio. I'm heading to the last place I want to be. Fort Wayne, Indiana. Where I was born. We moved five years ago when my dad took a job in Utah. I used to love Fort Wayne, but then--that unspeakable thing happened—which I can't think about for one second without freaking out . . . because I blame myself! Okay—I said it! But I haven’t told anyone, and I mean anyone. And because of what happened, my dreams of getting into the University of London’s art school are super at risk. Why? Because . . . I keep painting the same theme over and over. I know. And I haven’t told anyone why. And I can’t stop!

Let's move on. NOW. Before I lose it.

I'm slowing my breathing. Hang on.

I think I'm okay now.

Here's the worst part. I'm working for my grandmother all summer, researching mind-numbing genealogy junk. Yeah, lineage crud. Dead people! No thank you. So why am I doing it?? Because I need the money—my family needs the money, and my private art teacher is ridiculously expensive. And art is my life. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane! I've never had a job and my dad is struggling with his, so yeah. I don’t see any of this going well.

I've always been able to work hard in school and paint in my free time. But not now. How will I cope without a paintbrush in my hand like always? I'm an only child and my parents have supported me in everything! This is the first time I've had to choose to do something I don't want to do.

Allen Hamilton ~ Historical Timeline:

Good day, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Allen Hamilton, eldest son of Andrew and Elizabeth Hamilton, of Irvinestown, Ireland. A slight correction. I am the eldest living son of the Hamilton family. Indeed, times are difficult.

I spent three years gaining the education of a gentleman as my Aunt Mary’s guest at The Hall, her family’s estate in Mount Charles, on the west coast of Ireland. Until my time was cut short because I chose to return to Irvinestown to aid my family. Starvation and disease are imminent across our Island home now, as crops fail, and the English tax Irishmen into the depths of poverty.

It’s 1817, and I’ve been employed at Castle Archdale as a clerk for the past three years, a position Aunt Mary secured for me. My meager income, added to Father’s sparce and sporadic business dealings, only just sustains us.

Until an opportune return visit to The Hall.

There, I met a friend of Aunt Mary’s who had just returned from a journey to America. Upon hearing of my interest in that intriguing land, the man gave me a copy of a book called Notes on the State of Virginia. I quickly thumbed through the volume as a daring plan rose in my heart. If I were to leave our ailing homeland, I could find a way to save my family. In the land of opportunity!

Now I board a ship—alone—leaving my family behind, as I set off to find a new life for my kin.

Yet can I find success across the Atlantic in an unknown land?

Before it’s too late?

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Wendy has kindly offered to gift a single signed copy of her novel and a Celtic Charm from below for next Wednesday evening's drawing, May 2, 2021

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Our Story Title:   Once Upon An Irish Summer

Our Story Genre:  YA Crossover

Our Story Releases:   April 3, 2020 
                                Happy Anniversary!

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The Author of Our Story:    Wendy Wilson Spooner


Wendy Wilson Spooner, Lic. G., LCoT, is a professional Genetic Genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between.

Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she unearths during research, and she’s found truth is indeed, much more exciting and inspiring than fiction. Wendy writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming the obstacles of life by coming to know who we really are—children of God, and, the descendants of remarkable people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. She believes in learning from ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become someone even better.

As an award-winning author of professional articles and poems, Wendy turned to novel writing to share what she knows with a greater audience. Her debut novel, Once Upon an Irish Summer, released April 3, 2020 and has been an Amazon best-seller in the several different genres. She’s looking forward to releasing book two in the series!

When Wendy is not writing or researching, she currently serves as National Vice Chair for Daughters of the American Revolution over Art & Sculpture in the annual American Heritage contest. She also serves as Chairman of the Advisory board for Century Vital Records in Bengaluru, India. As well, Wendy loves to read, hike, paint, travel, binge on Bollywood movies, and spend time with her greatest loves—her family.

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Princess Lillian ~ in PRINCESS LILLIAN and GRANDPA'S GOODBYE ~ by ~ Jenny Fulton

Greetings, my most loyal subjects. My name is Princess Lillian and I’m five years old. Do you like my dress? Some people say it isn’t a normal princess dress and I agree. How can it be normal when it’s extra special?

Do you want to hear the story of how I got it?

Well, then, settle into this chair here, like Grandpa did before he went Home, and I’ll tell you all about it.

This story begins on our way from Kansas to New Mexico to visit Grandpa. He lived where Mommy grew up, in the magical land of Dinétah.

Now, I used to be a regular princess – the kind who wore big fancy ballgowns. I was wearing one of my favorites over my regular clothes as we loaded up to leave. This princess dress was yellow like the sun with diamonds and princess sparkles that reflected in the light and cast shimmery designs on the car’s ceiling. It wrinkled and crinkled against my seat beat. I squirmed to find a more comfortable position. I wished the dress was more comfortable and felt softer.

Mommy looked up from where she was buckling my 2-year-old sister, Zoe, in. “Lillian, you really don’t need to wear that dress on the drive. You can put it on when we get there.”

Spend hours without my princess dress? How could I be Princess Lillian without my princess dress? I shook my head. “It’s ok, Mommy. It isn’t too bad.” I scratched my arm where the sleeves touched skin.

Mommy settled into the front seat beside Daddy, and we were off. The drive was a long one, but I didn’t mind. It meant more time in my pretend world. I looked out my window and stepped into an enchanting world filled with twirling princess and brave knights.

We arrived at Grandpa’s house the next day. He lived at a mission where he taught people about God and helped anyone who needed something.

As soon as we stopped, I jumped out of the car and jumped into his arms with the most graceful of princess leaps.

Our laughter filled the sky and echoed across the canyons and mesas. “Hey, there my little Princess! Are you ready for another adventure?”

“Uh-huh! Where are we going today?”

Grandpa led me up our hill to the big tree where we played until they called us down for dinner.

We woke early the next morning to drive to the see the big parade. It was still dark when we arrived and set up our chairs along the side of the road.

At long last, the parade began. My favorite part was the beautiful ladies. They wore long flowy skirts that danced when as they walked. Some of them rode horses. Their shirts were colorful and shimmery; their silver jewelry and crowns sparkled in the sun.

I leaned over to Mommy. “Who are those ladies? They’re so beautiful!”

Mommy smiled. “They’re Navajo Princesses.”

“Can I be one?” Their dresses looked so soft. I stepped forward to take a closer look. And then took another step.

One of the princesses stopped and took my hand. “Yá'át'ééh, little one. What are you doing all the way out here?”

Out here? I returned to normal world. Yes, I was standing in the middle of the road. But a real live princess was talking to me! I reached out and touched her skirt, then her shirt. The material greeted my skin like a warm hug. “Can I be like you?”

The princess laughed. “Aoo’. And if Nimá says it’s ok, you can even walk with me in the parade. Would you like to do that?”

Mommy came over and the two talked. After Mommy gave her permission, the princess took off one of her bracelets and one of her necklaces. She put them on me and smiled. “Now you’re ready.”

We walked a long way, but I didn’t mind. I’d never been happier.

When the parade was over, Mommy promised to make me my own Navajo Princess dress.

It had been a long day. On the way back to Grandpa’s house, Zoe fell asleep. But I didn’t. Bits of the adult conversation floated back to me. Their voices sounded worried.

“There’s nothing else they can do?” asked Daddy.

Grandpa glanced back at me and lowered his voice, but I could still hear him. “Not anymore.”

“How long?” Mommy asked.

Grandpa whispered an answer, one I couldn’t hear. I wanted to ask what they were talking about, for it sounded important. But then we stopped, and the topic changed.

We climbed out of the car and I followed Mommy to the sewing room. By the end of the week, I had my very own Navajo Princess dress. The bright blues and greens matched the colors of the sky. It fell to my ankle where it bushed softly against my skin. From now on, I was Princess Lillian, a Navajo princess with a soft, comfortable, absolutely beautiful gown.

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Author, Jenny Fulton, will be gifting a an E-BOOK to one reader who leaves a comment below!

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My Story Title:  Princess Lillian and Granpa's Goodbye

My Story Genre: Children's Picture Book

My Story Released:   March 10, 2021

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The Author of My Story:    Jenny Fulton

Jenny Fulton is a wife, mother, children's book author, YA fantasy author, blogger, and freelance writer with a B.S. in Bible, a B.S. in elementary education, and an endorsement in K-12 ESL. After graduating from Grace University in 2007, Jenny worked as a teacher in a variety of cultural and educational settings, both abroad and in the United States. She is a storyteller, a follower of Christ, and a seeker of truth.

An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Jenny grew up hearing stories from her dad about the supernatural workings on the Navajo Reservation. Her days are now mostly spent raising her three young daughters (homeschooling two of them) and writing as much as time and opportunity allows. 

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Our Story BEFORE The Story ~ Emma Baker & Luke Davis ~ EVERY WINDOW FILLED WITH LIGHT ~ by ~ Shelia Stovall

I’m Emma Baker, a young childless widow. I’m the Weldon Public Library director and my mother, Virginia Willoughby, is the mayor of Weldon, Kentucky. I’ll never achieve Mother’s idea of perfection as I’m a bit awkward.

I grew up in my grandparents’ home with my mother, as my father abandoned us when I was a toddler. It’s been my lifelong dream to be a part of a large, boisterous family like my best friend, Casey.

My husband, Chris, and I inherited Grandfather’s old Victorian home. Still, before we could build a family, Chris was accidentally stabbed to death by one of his students, leaving me to spiral into a pit of despair.

It’s been two years since Chris’s death, and my grief has stifled any interest in romance—until I met Pastor Luke Davis. But when I learned Luke is counseling Winston Meador, my husband’s killer fresh out of jail, my temper ignited. It wilts me to know that I haven’t come close to forgiving the boy. I say the words, “I forgive,” but my heart will not yield.

Before Chris’s death, I’d never experienced hate. I love children, and it pains me to suffer this angst toward a young man. I often deal with kids who need more parental supervision hanging out in the library. If only I could take them home and give them the love and attention they deserve.

I’m Luke Davis, an associate pastor of a large congregation in a community that neighbors Weldon, Kentucky. I’m committed to working with troubled teens because I grew up feeling unworthy and unloved. My mom abandoned me when I was eight years old, and my alcoholic grandmother made it clear she didn’t want me around. If Pastor Bob hadn’t introduced me to my heavenly father, I’d probably be dead or in prison.

A long time ago, I had a fiancée, but I struggled to balance church responsibilities and personal relationships. When I refused to accept a large home from my fiancée’s parents as a wedding gift, she broke our engagement because she claimed I loved God more than her. She was right. I’ve accepted the only family I’ll ever have is my church family.

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Author, Shelia Stovall will be gifting a signed copy to someone who comments on this post.
Be creative in your comments, readers. 
Drawing is to be held Wednesday evening, April 14, 2021

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My Story Genre:  Women's Contemporary Christian Fiction

My Story Released:        April 2, 2021
                                    A brand new release!

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The Author of My Story:   Shelia Stovall

Shelia Stovall  is the director of a small-town library in southern Kentucky, where only strangers mention her last name, and the children call her Miss Shelia.

It tickles her to see shocked expressions when folks learn she’s traveling to Africa—again. She’s the worst missionary ever, but God continues to send her to the ends of the earth as He attempts to mold her into something useful.

Shelia is a country girl who relishes eating a bologna sandwich at a country store just as much as savoring an elegant meal in a posh restaurant.

Shelia and her husband Michael live on a farm, and she enjoys taking daily rambles to the creek with their three dogs. Spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, is her all-time favorite thing. The only hobby Shelia loves more than reading uplifting stories of hope is writing them. 

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Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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