Monday, December 29, 2014

New year: New book

Like the year 2014, the first book of The Stone House Legacy is almost in the can.  Proof copies are going out to reviewers and Beta readers. The final release date is scheduled for February 1 and a Launch Party is planned for February 22. (More information will be coming out soon.)  If you would like to be among the first to read and review this book, please contact me below for your copy.

Set in the birthplace of the John Birch Society, during the turbulent years of the early 1960’s, The Stone House Legacy reveals mankind’s stubborn inclination to repeat the mistakes of past generations. For nearly a century the old stone house has kept its secrets hidden deep in the limestone hills of central Indiana. When an idealistic young minister decides to develop the site as a religious retreat for ecumenical thought, however, the secrets of its past cast a dark shadow over his plans. Eventually, he must choose between his religious and political beliefs and the safety of his family.

Since the book is part of a trilogy, I have already begun work on Book II.  The book will focus on the historical events of the 1970, in particular, the struggle for women's rights.  However, in this book, I  also hope to explore the somewhat complicated relationship between mothers and sons. I am especially interested in how the absence of a strong father figure affects this relationship. Some of the characters from Book I will reappear with a whole new set of problems to overcome.

The working title for Book II is The Stone House Legacy: From Stone to Steel, but that could change as the work unfolds.  I am aiming for a 2016 release for this version and I hope to set up a system for taking preorders as well. Watch this site as well as my author page on Facebook for the latest updates.

On another note, I have completed the reediting and interior reformatting for Windborne and I will be re-releasing it with a new cover design this spring. For those of you who may have missed it the first time around, Windborne is a novel of empowerment and awakening.  Three generations of women born in the windswept Kansas Flint Hills set aside their own hopes and dreams to support the dreams of the men they fall in love with. But in the Flint Hills dreams often wither and die from hardships brought on by climate extremes, economics and politics. As each woman struggles to hold her family together through pain and heartache the dream begins to unravel and she must discover the hidden strength and power that lies deep within her to realize her own dreams.

All in all, it looks like a very busy 2015.  I hope you will join me in making it the most successful year ever!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Legacy of Strong Women

During this time of reflection and thankfulness, I look back on the people who have made an impact on my life and the list of honorees are too numerous to mention. I credit the men in my life for making me fearless and keeping me humble.  In particular, my husband and my son have allowed me to lean on them when time and circumstances overwhelmed me. They had the uncanny ability to refill my reserves when I felt drained and empty. But the strength I drew from them is quite different from the strength I drew from the women in my life. Women are often the unsung heroes of fiction. And it is for that reason that I have chosen to represent strong female protagonists in my writing.

It is the special bond between mothers, daughters, and sisters that ultimately shape the women we become. Unfortunately, when the bond is broken or weak, so is the woman.  Without a strong woman in her life, a she often turns to a man to provide the strength she needs.  Unfortunately, this type of relationship can ultimately lead to subjugation and dependency. (I realize that this is a generalization that may not be true in all cases, but for the sake of argument, bear with me.)

I also believe that we are all are strongly influenced by the culture of the times in which we come of age. At the risk of sounding trite, women have come a long way from the 1970's "either/or" vision of women as housewives or career women. We have even realized that the 1980's view of the superwoman who could actually do it all was completely unrealistic.  Today, the men in the relationship no longer feel threatened by "women's work" and they eagerly embrace their roles as fathers as being more than merely a biological function. With this in mind, I like to place my female protagonist squarely in conflict with the historical and political culture of the times.

As I look at the women in my life - my mother, my sister, my daughter, and my daughters-in-law - I am thankful that they are all strong women and that the times in which we live celebrate that fact. They are not only capable of standing alone on the strength of their own independence, but they have made the men in their lives stronger because of it. They are equal partners in their relationships and will settle for nothing less. This is the legacy they will pass on their children.