I hope all is well in your lives. Things have been a crazy roller coaster lately. We celebrated P.R.'s birthday here recently. I did my usual job of decorating the apartment after P.R. went to bed so when P.R. got up, the living room was covered in signs and lights and a banner. I always try to go a little bigger every year. I also made P.R. a cake and we went out to dinner. It was a good day.
The winner of our Valentine's Day giveaway, Linda Boswell, got her prize package. I love that Linda won this prize. I used to work with Linda at Barnes & Nobles Booksellers in Wichita, Kansas several years ago. I know Linda is an avid reader and I can't wait to hear what she thinks of my books.
I have been hard at work finishing up book three, Into the West: Sharon Springs. I am still planning to have it up for pre-sale later this month. I a taking a week off of my teaching job to make sure I get it all finished up in time. I will be making an announcement when I have the date set for it to go live. Keep watching here and on my Facebook and Twitter page for more information.
I found a new program online that allows you to make book mockups for free so today I reworked my My Books page using mockups. I'm still not crazy about the top of the page but I'll keep tweaking it.
I finally broke down and bought a bike. Mainly because my mother got tired of me always using money I had saved up to buy a bike for something for my books instead of for the bike and she sent me money for a bike for my Christmas present. She had been trying to decide what to get me for months and when I told her, yet again, that I was going to use the money I had saved for a bike for something else.
Well, she just said enough is enough and sent me the money for the bike I had been looking at for about four years now with the understanding that it could only be used for the bike. So, I finally ordered my bike. It came from Amazon in about four days. It was a fiasco putting it together but I think I have it all set now (thanks in part to YouTube how-to videos) but ever since I finished the build, we have had nothing but nasty stormy weather here. Isn't that just always the way?
I have been making good progress on part three, Into the West: Sharon Springs. I think I should have the writing done sometime in the next week, maybe week and a half. It shouldn't take my editor very long to get through it. I hope as I keep writing, I am writing cleaner as I progress in this serial. I do try to catch as much as possible before I send it off to Greg for the final edit.
Now, for what I'm sure at least some of you are waiting for, your sneak peek at Into the West: Sharon Springs.
“Mrs. Kelly, ma’am, if the children agree to this arrangement, will you give your approval?”
Mrs. Kelly looked up at Tim and spoke, “Mr. Ruth, I know for a fact Elizabeth and Conner will never agree to be separated. These children are closely bonded and love each other too much to ever want to go to separate homes. If I split them up there will be tears and tantrums and probably nights of nightmares. They will never agree to that.”
Mrs. Kelly could see the obvious disappointment on Tim’s face as he dropped his eyes and shook his head, yes.
He put his hat back on and turned to leave the church just as Mrs. Kelly placed her hand on his arm and added, “But I’m going to approve it anyway.”
Tim Ruth had to sit down while he processed what Mrs. Kelly had just said to him.
“I beg your pardon?” asked Tim.
Mrs. Kelly sat down beside Tim and gave him a sad smile.
“I know this will be a horrible experience for these children . . . at first,” said Mrs. Kelly. “It will be emotional and terrifying and they will probably hate me for doing this to them.”
Mrs. Kelly had to stop speaking for a moment to compose herself. The idea that these children might hate her for what she was about to do, hurt her more than she ever imagined possible but she felt she had to do this.
Mrs. Kelly had worked with foundlings in New York City for years. She knew the kinds of homes where they were often placed. The prospective families were not always loving couples looking to parent orphan children. More often than not, they were farmers or business owners who needed cheap labor. They took on the children because their upkeep for a few years was cheaper than the salary for a hired hand. While the situations were not ideal, it was still better than living on the streets of New York City begging for food everyday just to survive.
Mrs. Kelly hated to admit it but she wanted more for Elizabeth and Conner. She had grown close to them, something she had never allowed herself to do with any of her other charges, it made her job so much more difficult. It didn’t matter now, she couldn’t undo it. She also knew she couldn’t bring herself to let these children go to any families she wasn’t convinced would love them and welcome them into their homes as if they were their own.
Mrs. Kelly felt the Wellensteins and the Ruths were the best possible families she was going to find for Elizabeth and Conner. The fact that the families were already so close just made the situation even better in her mind. They may have to live in separate homes but they would still get to see each other from time to time. Something told her, this was the best situation she was going to find for them.
Mrs. Kelly did her best to explain her feelings to Tim as she choked back her emotions. Suddenly, she became very aware that most of the congregation was still in the church and listening intently to their conversation. Mrs. Kelly stood up and faced the townspeople.
“If you will excuse me, I think for this final placement I am going to make the announcement to the children in private. It is going to be traumatic enough for them I don’t want them to have to hear the news in such a public forum.”
The people all began to get up and leave without objection. Many people left without saying a word while some came by to congratulate Tim on the addition to his family before leaving. A few even thanked Mrs. Kelly for bringing the foundlings to their town.