Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Photographs

An eclectic mix of photos today. These are from a walk I took with my husband at a local park. To view the compete album, visit Photobucket.

Lake Parker Park 12/26/2012

Lake Parker Park12/26/2012

Squirrel 12/26/2012

Coot 12/26/2012

Bald Cypress & Maple Leaves

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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Mary Christmas

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
(Lk 1:26-30)
I heard it said recently that though the angel told Mary what would happen with her, she could not possibly have understood it, and frankly, I'd never given that any thought. 

But here's the thought I want to leave you with today - how much faith did it take for Mary to accept the angel's words? In the face of an announcement she would give birth to a son who would be the Savior, in the face of conceiving having not been with a man, and despite an angelic being delivering the message, it took great faith for her to respond as she did.


Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. (Lk 1:38)

There is a lesson for all of us to learn from that. 

Sometimes we know God's will, know what He has has asked of us, we might even have had a "word from the Lord" about it, yet we never walk forward in faith. I am as guilty of this as the next guy. 

But look at what can happen when someone chooses to believe God will do as He said.

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.  (Lk 1:45)
   


Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Enjoy this video I made a couple years ago!
 

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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog Hop - Love & Redemption

We have a double header on the blog today. I am happy to participate in a blog hop with several other excellent authors. Be sure to visit Staci Stallings blog with latest information on her next book. 

http://spiritlightbooks.wordpress.com/


1. What is the title?
Love & Redemption

2. Where did the idea come from?
I was watching a television series where a girl was being forced to marry someone she didn't love, and it planted a seed in my head.
3. What is the genre

Christian Fiction/Historical/Romance


4. What actors would play your character in a movie version?
I had to seriously ask around about this one because I don't keep up with movies or actors. I started by describing my main character.

Michael O'Fallen
Age: 20
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185-190 lbs.
Description: Sandy-blond hair, Emerald green eyes

Oh, and he sings like Andrea Bocelli. Yeah, that actor doesn't exist. So I went with looks and Liam Hemsworth was suggested to me. I have no idea if he can act, and I'm betting he can't sing. I'm also thinking his eyes aren't green. All of that said, he's close. Though ... his eyebrows aren't right, too dark. (And my daughter laughed at me for that one). He'd also need to polish up his Irish Gaelic for the part.



The female was much easier. I knew exactly who would play her. This only because I saw her act on an episode of The Mentalist. But first, the character's information.

Anne Sawyer (O'Fallen)
Age: 19
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 110
Description: Golden blonde hair, blue eyes

For her part, I pick Dove Cameron.




5. Give a short Synopsis
I covered this briefly on December 12th when I posted the Prologue. But here's the Blurb.
Michael O’Fallen simply wants to survive. A poor Irish boy living in post-Civil War New York, the events of one horrible night send him running¬–far south to unsettled Florida and an unplanned marriage with a girl he doesn’t know.

Now, he must protect her from the lust and greed of evil men and figure out how to make their escape. Will the dangers and perils they face tear their marriage apart? Or will he finally find true Love & Redemption?
6. How long did it take to write the first draft?
It took me five rewrites because I didn't outline the storyline well enough from the start. This made me waste a "whole lot" of my time. Once I knew where I was going with it though, it flowed nicely, and I was finished within a couple months. 

7. What other books in the genre compare?
This question is hard to answer because honestly I haven't seen any that compare. I thought of A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith, but only in the sense of its being set in Florida. I like to include descriptions of the area I grew up in my stories.

My writing style, however, is vastly different, and frankly, I can't think of anyone else who writes similarly in a historical fiction genre. I would compare it perhaps to some of the western/romance historicals that are out, but not set out west and with a more contemporary feel.

8.Who or what inspired this WIP?

I answered this partly in question #1. But I would say the inspiration for Michael O'Fallen's singing came from two places. First, from a turn-of-the-century singer who made Irish music popular, John McCormack. There are videos of him singing up on YouTube

My second inspiration is Andrea Bocelli. Here's a favorite from Christmas album. Angels We Have Heard On High


9. Anything to add?
There are six books in this series. The first three are: Love & Redemption, Life & Deliverance, and Faith & Forgiveness. The final three are a spin off series entitled, Children of the Irish. The first book is the only one titled at this point, Maire's Song. Read an excerpt here.

Here's a post I made on the first three books and a link to the book trailer.
http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-florida-irish-series-video-link.html 

Also, you can read the entire Prologue on my blog. 
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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
 

Guest Author - Lillian Duncan

I'm happy to share my blog today with fiction author, Lillian Duncan. She is responsible for encouraging me to write my Christmas novella: Christmas Angel, available at Amazon.

Her latest story, Christmas Stalking, is an edge-of-your-seat tale I've personally read and believe you'll enjoy!

1. Tell us about The Christmas Stalking.

The Christmas Stalking is a romantic suspense novella that features Destiny-a very famous country music star. She has everything she dreamed of and more. Fame. Wealth. Beauty. Adoring fans. Oh, yeah and a stalker.


As the stalker escalates, she decides it’s time for Destiny to disappear and let Holly Stone take over her own life again until the stalker can be apprehended. She goes back to the Adirondacks where she spent time as a young girl. She reconnects with an old friend and...that’s where the fun begins.

The cover for THE CHRISTMAS STALKING is so awesome, you should take a look at it at: www.lillianduncan.net

2. What's the setting for The Christmas Stalking?

It’s in a fictional hamlet called The Village Of Serenity & Peace in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. The citizens refer to it as Serenity. And, of course, there is no such thing as serenity or peace when my main character, Destiny, shows up.

3. How did you come up with that title?


It’s a great title for a Christmas-themed book, don’t you think. I actually was almost finished writing it. My working title was simply STALKED—nothing Christmassy about that. All of a sudden, it came to me in a flash-THE CHRISTMAS STALKING. I thought it was the perfect title.


4. Why did you write The Christmas Stalking?


I could give a deep profound answer, but the truth is I wrote it to entertain my readers. My publisher (Pelican Book Group) announced they wanted Christmas-themed novellas. I’d never written a novella before so thought I’d give it a try, the real challenge was to incorporate the Christmas theme into a suspense novel?


I took up the challenge to do just that and I enjoyed every minute of it!

5. If The Christmas Stalking becomes a movie, who would play the main character?


Either Carrie Underwood or Kelly Picker would be great as Destiny. As for the male characters, I’m not going to say since it could give away the ending!


6. What do you want readers to take away from The Christmas Stalking?
 

We have become a celebrity-obsessed society. Many people think they can only be happy if they are rich and famous. I wanted to show a character who “had it all” but still wasn’t happy. True happiness and joy comes from a relationship with God not how many people know your name.

7. Is The Christmas Stalking the first book you published? 


No, I’ve published several others, including DECEPTION and PURSUED also published by Pelican Book Group. This is. however. my first novella and it’s only available as an e-book. So, it’s a little different from my other books. 


8. Why did you become a writer?

Interestingly enough, I’ve always had stories that rattled around in my head. I called them daydreams. Unfortunately, it never occurred to me I should be writing them down to share with others until I was 40. It took me a year to finish my first manuscript, but by then I was hooked! I loved writing.


I remember as a child, I would create elaborate scenarios for Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and their children, not to mentions my dolls. The poor things had so many problems! I think I lived in my head or in my books  as much as I did in the “real” world.


9. What is your writing process? Do you outline your stories in advance?


I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.


When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

10. Do you know who the bad guy is when you being your story?


Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. This story was no exception, there are several characters who could be the stalker. And I wasn’t sure who it was until the very end.


11. Most people don't think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?

I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s ok, I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.


I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.


12. Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?


I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories in any way. My characters experience the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions.


My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.


One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.


13. What are you working on now?   


My editor and I are busy on the final edits for a book to be released next year. It’s the second in my SISTERS BY CHOICE series and is currently titled BETRAYED. The first book in the series was DECEPTION.


DECEPTION is the story of a school counselor who’s get the shock of her life one morning when a niece she doesn’t know exists calls her and asks, “where’s my mommy?” Her journey to find her sister leads her on a winding path of deception. BETRAYED picks up the story of DECEPTION, but focuses on Maria who was the wife of the terrorist from the first story.


I also have a devotional blog (www.PowerUpWithGod.com) that I love to work on. Lately, I’ve been working on a series of devotions called FACING ADVERSITY GOD’S WAY. I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors this year and so I’m using my experiences to help others who are facing a crisis.


14. Is there anything else you want to tell your readers?

As a special Christmas gift, anyone who purchases a copy of THE CHRISTMAS STALKING can receive a FREE e-copy of either DARK ALLEYS or GEESE MATE FOR LIFE. Once you purchase it, simply go to my website (www.lillianduncan.net) and send me the order number. I will email you a copy of the book of your choice. Merry Christmas!

15. How can readers find you on the internet?


My website is www.lillianduncan.net and I have a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan





THE CHRISTMAS STALKING by Lillian Duncan

Overzealous fan or crazed stalker?


Country music superstar Destiny appears to have it all. Beauty, money, and fame. But it’s not all glitz and glamour. Being a celebrity comes with a price—loneliness, and now threats from an unknown stalker.

With Christmas approaching, and as the danger escalates in Nashville, Destiny has no choice but to disappear. She escapes to her grandparents’ cabin in the Adirondack Mountains near the tiny Village of Serenity & Peace. It seems to be the perfect choice for a hideout. Longing for the serenity and peace she experienced there as a child, Destiny sheds her celebrity persona and resumes her long-forgotten identity as Holly Stone.

Unfortunately, fame follows her to the tiny village—along with her stalker.


About The Author


Lillian Duncan writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.


To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net.  She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com 

 
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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Photographs & A Few Thoughts

With the approach of Christmas this year, I found myself searching once again for that Christmas moment, that instant when I know once again what the holiday is all about. 

Christmas Tree 2012

For those of you not familiar with my thoughts on this, I posted a blog last year telling how each Christmas God speaks to me in some small way of the meaning of the holiday. Last year, it was through "A Muppet Christmas Carol". This year it was Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" and a Scripture.

The Scripture came about because I had a really bad day. Bad choices. Bad words. Just all around bad. But I woke up the next morning thinking of God's mercies. Lamentations 3:22-23 says they are new every morning, that God is faithful and his compassions fail not. I am so grateful for this because it means every day I can start over fresh as if the previous day didn't exist. 

What a marvelous thought to meditate on!


It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lam 3:22-23)

Fireplace Mantle 2012


"Ode To Joy" was one of those videos that came across my screen. In this case, it is a flash mob - where people sing or play a song in a public arena without the public having knowledge of it. In this particular version, the choir is not singing in English, but I heard the words in my head.

And there it was again. New every morning. How perfectly wonderful! I encourage you to take the time from whatever you are currently doing to watch the video and be thankful. Thankful that you can have today in joy and happiness without any of yesterday's mistakes coming back to haunt you.

Joyful, joyful
We adore Thee
God of glory
Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day





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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Love & Redemption (The Florida Irish Series #1)

I am so excited about my next book release that I could not wait to share the prologue with you. Love & Redemption begins the tale of Michael O'Fallen, a poor Irish boy living in post-Civil-War New York.

Caught up in a web of deceit and fearing for his life, he takes the offer of escape promised him only to find himself far south in untamed Florida and married to a girl he doesn't know. When he begins to care for her, the hole he's gotten himself into only digs deeper. Will the dangers and perils they face tear them apart? Or will they find true Love & Redemption?

I hope the prologue makes you want to read on. Also, look for fun information about this series to be posted here on December 19th!

Here's a post I made on the first three books and a link to the book trailer.

And for yet more information on the first book, check out my blog hop article!


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EXCERPT:

(1 Corantaigh 1:30) Eisean a bheir daoibhse bheith in Íosa Críost an té a ndearna Dia eagna de dúinne, agus fíréantacht agus naofacht agus fuascailt. 

(1 Corinthians 1:30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.



PROLOGUE

January 1870, New York City

Whispered threads of frosty air purled from Michael's breath as he stepped into the frozen street. Grasping the edges of his coat, he ducked beneath the wide collar and shoved his hands deep in his pockets. His fingers met up with his shirt. Holes. That's what remained of his life.

His mother's lovely face floated upward in his thoughts, and he swallowed the lump in his throat. If only it was as it had been – her and him against the rest of the world. The rosy image faded into the coal-black night.

Three months since she had passed, yet the ache inside grew larger and larger. He'd lost it all – their belongings, their room at the tenement. Forced to sell her stuff to pay the rent and buy food, he'd even traded in her wedding band, and that hurt the most, for it was all that remained of her and the father he'd never known.

His nose stiffened in the icy cold and he labored to breathe. Now, he'd had nowhere to go. The landlord had tossed him out days ago with only the clothes on his back. "Irish scum!" he’d shouted.

The other families only watched, shaking their heads. He didn't blame them for not helping. It was the way of things. Everyone wanted to survive, and in survival, "me" became the most important thing.

The pavement ended at a wide, littered street where narrow buildings seemed to huddle together for warmth. Michael picked up the pace and winced as his toes, numbed by the frigid temperatures, rubbed together. At the corner, he paused.

Laughter spilled out from the open doorway of the tavern onto the cold, empty street. A welcome blast of heat stung his eyes as he swung in the door.

"Hello handsome. I hoped you'd come back." Tapered fingers sporting evenly-shaped nails seized his chin and spun it forward onto a pair of full, crimson lips.

The force of the kiss slammed him against the wall.

"Mwa!" With a loud smack, she released his chin. "You denied me last time, so I decided to take what I want."

The extreme heat in the room settled on his cheeks. "Amber, I ..." he began. But she grasped him by the collar and tugged him across the room.

"Sit!" Whisking his cap from his head, she lowered herself into his lap, her white thighs gleaming upward in the low light.

He focused on her face to avoid her ample cleavage. The heady scent of lilac perfume emerged from her skin.

"Surely you aren't leaving me tonight?" she purred, and she weaved her fingers in his hair.

His insides squirmed, yet he smiled. It was hard not to like Amber.

"It's cold out there, and I have a nice, warm spot for you." She licked her lips, and gooseflesh rose on his skin.

"You're comin' with me!"

A strong arm lifted Amber from Michael’s lap and carried her across the room. The sudden rush of air swished in his face.

Fists flying, Amber pummeled the man's chest. "Unhand me!"

But the man, purple with rage, smacked her mouth with back of his hand. With a cry, she fell into the floor.

The heat in Michael's cheeks sunk into his gut. No man treated a woman like that. He inserted himself in front of her, his gaze driving into the other man's skull. "That's enough.”

Two hard, dark eyes dueled with his from beneath a sweat-soaked brow.

"Michael, don't," Amber whimpered.

The flame inside him flared. What did it matter who she was or what she did? His mama never cottoned to such behavior and neither would he. God helps everyone, she always stressed. He extended his hand and lifted her from the floor.

"Well …” A smirk crossed the man's lips, and he leaned back on his elbows. "Lookee here! Pretty boy to save the day."

The man’s companions laughed uproariously at that comment and clinked their glasses together. This warmed him to his audience. "What you gonna do now? Rescue the damsel in distress?"

Michael turned his back to the taunt, only to spot the bead of blood poised on Amber’s lip. "He hurt you,” he said. He reached out to wipe it away, and she flinched. "Where can we clean that up?"

She flicked her gaze over his shoulder to the man, now distracted by his drink. "In the back." They made their escape.

The room in back of the bar held a multitude of items: casks of wine, bottles of liquor, a crate of unused glasses, and other odds and ends – clothing, cleaning cloths, and lamp oil. Michael followed Amber to a washstand where a porcelain bowl rested in the corner. Dipping a cloth into the water, he patted her lip.

She winced. "You're such a good guy. What are you even doin’ here tonight?"

He smiled and rinsed out the rag. "It's warm."

This was his major reason. He'd certainly never taken to alcohol. He didn't like the smell nor the way it affected people's behavior. In the crowded tenement where he and his mother lived, the man directly above them drank all day and beat his wife all night. Michael laid awake many times, cringing at her cries.

Amber smiled. "Then for goodness sake, why didn't you stay with me last time?"

His eyes locked with hers, and he broke into a gentle Irish burr. "Mama always said, 'Michael O'Fallen, temptashun is greatest whaen ye stan' in de middle av it.'"

She laughed, her hand over her mouth.

The open doorway darkened and their faces turned. Leaning heavily against the door frame, the man raised a clenched fist.

"Lookee at the lovebirds," he slurred. "Think ye just gonna run off? I'm payin' for a night, so you're comin’ with me." He lurched forward, his hands outstretched.

Amber slipped away from Michael and pushed at the man’s chest. "You need to go back in the bar," she snapped.

His nostrils flared, and he shoved her hard, sending her crashing against the wall. "First, me and this fella's gonna settle it. Winner take all."

Michael fisted his hands. Being alone on the streets with no family, no friends, and no roof to sleep under had taught him many things. It taught him he hated the cold. It'd been cold enough in the tenement, but at least there'd been love there. It taught him how hard it was to find food. Mama had always provided, somehow. And it taught him how to survive in desperate situations because so many others were trapped in his same shoes.

Amber peeled herself from the wall and stepped between them. "No, stop. I'll go. Leave him be," she pleaded. Her glance shot over her shoulder to Michael and then back to the man.

Michael took a step forward, his morals warring with his common sense. Walk away an’ let things be, his mama cautioned. This isn’t yer fight. Though wasn’t it? This man would only hurt her in the end, maybe do worse than that, and anyone lacking respect for a woman was lower than scum. His anger flared, and he took another step.

At this motion, the man exploded. In one leap he grabbed Michael and tossed him out the door into the frigid night air. Michael’s spine smacked against the solid brick wall with a crack, and all the air fled from his chest. Gasping, he floundered, his feet slipping on the icy pavement.

The man’s friends tumbled from the building, crowding the narrow alley, their drunken cheers drowning out the pounding in his head.

Michael dug his fingers into the wall and hauled himself upright.

“What’s a matter? Your head hurt?” the man jeered.

Michael stepped out, his fists raised before him, and focused on the man’s face. “Not as bad as yours will,” he goaded.

The man leaped forward with a roar and landed a punch to Michael’s gut. Michael flew backward and down, stabbing pain shooting along his side.

The man hurled his foot toward Michael’s face. “I’ll teach you,” he growled.

Michael’s senses kicked in. Rolling sideways, he grasped the man’s shoe and yanked it upwards. Off balance, the man keeled over, landing prone on the ground. “I don’t think so,” Michael said.

He scrambled again to his feet. Walk away, his mother’s voice begged again. But the distinct clang of a knife stopped him short, and he whirled around.

Swaying on unsteady legs, the man whirred the blade back and forth. "I think I'll just carve up pretty boy's face," he chuckled. "Make him not so pretty." And with that, he lunged.

Michael caught hold of his wrist with a grunt. This is out of hand. Weariness tore at his arms, and his muscles shook. The knife edged closer.

Was this the end? He'd die in an alley, and then what? People who didn't care about him or his life would dispose of him. He'd fall forgotten into the earth, like his mother, buried unmarked with the paupers. Only unlike her, there'd be no one to mourn him. No one cared what happened to Michael O’Fallen.

His eyes darkened. No. I won’t die, not tonight. I’m better than him. Strength surged into his hands, and the knife slipped in the man’s grip.

Stop while ye can, his mother said. But his heart darkened, and with a yell, he plunged the blade through flesh, scraping onto bone.

The man’s eyes grew wide, and he staggered.

“Doesn’t feel too good now does it?” Michael growled.

Blood burbled from the wound, and the light in the man’s eyes dimmed. He slid down the alley wall, a glutinous bloody trail in his wake, and landed on the ground with an oomph.

Michael went numb. Stunned, expressionless, he sagged to his knees. What have I done? He blinked in the sight of the man's contorted, ashen face and fell forward, his hand outstretched across the pavement, voices around him a rumbling echo. I’ve killed him.

Yer anger 'ill cause ye trouble wan day, his mother had said, and she was right because it had.

“Michael, get up,” Amber pleaded.

But he couldn’t. His strength gone, he lay there as the pool of blood turned to ice.

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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guest Author - Staci Stallings - "Cowboy"


I am happy today to share my blog with romance author, Staci Stallings, who writes her thoughts about the book, "Cowboy".

Stealing Your Heart... and the Show
Behind the Scenes of "Cowboy"
  
One of the fascinating things about the book "Cowboy" to me has been the readers' reaction to Kenzie McCasland.  Kenzie is the six-year-old daughter of Beth, the main character.  She is bright and precocious, and by the end of the story has everyone wrapped around her little finger--including Grandma, Grandpa, Nanna, and country superstar Ashton Raines.

Kenzie as a character was so vivid to me--the sweet face and blonde curls. She was such a needed ray of sunshine. Her mother is so cut off from the world but for the presence of this little girl.  Beth and Kenzie live up in the mountains, literally.  They have a house/cabin that is set off and back in the woods.  Worse, Beth is really a stay-to-yourself kind of person.  I think she and her first husband were just getting started, couldn't afford much, and this cabin was a pretty cheap fix to that situation.

Little did Beth know the tragedy that would befall them all.  Now, here she is.  She can't move, she barely has enough money to fix the dripping sink.  So she's stuck out here with precious few options of changing that.  But I love the fact that she's not stuck out there alone.  Here's Kenzie, watching cartoons, making pinwheels, coloring... bringing life to her mother's lonely existence.

Then as we go, we see this little girl's heart, and it's so pure and sweet.  She's just totally a little girl if that makes any sense.  So when she offers to pray for Ashton, her mother's friend that she's never even met, it's with an innocence I wish we could all hang onto a little longer.  She knows nothing of the dangers Beth's friend warns of--stalkers and murderers who will take your information and find out where you live. 

Kenzie is removed from the anxiety of life in that way.  Maybe she is how I remember being growing up. Dad and Mom would protect me.  I trusted them completely.  If they said it needed prayer, then we prayed, and prayer helped. I just trusted that in a way it's hard to sometimes now.

The other thing I love about Kenzie is how when we first meet her, Beth is reading her a story.  I wrote a Behind the Scenes about how "Cowboy" is my nod to Cinderella which was my favorite story growing up, and I so love that Kenzie is bathing in that same warm glow of good stories that I got to.  Beth is reading a story that I made up, but it is one the reader will know instinctively that it could be any of the princess stories every little girl loves.  It's the story of this girl who despite her rags is loved by a Prince.

What is it about that story that we so long for?

I don't know, but I see it in Kenzie's eyes as Beth reads.  And honestly, I don't think it's bad for little girls to dream of others recognizing in them more than maybe is on the outside.  It doesn't matter that Kenzie wears hand-made clothes to school or that her idea of fun is fishing with her Grandpa.  She's simple, but she's authentically herself, making no apologies for who she is or how she is.

And when this little girl prays, God listens.  And I think that's just as it should be.





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Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

Story Saturdays

This month's FREE BOOK has been selected. For email subscribers only, I will send a download link to a copy of STEELE (Billionaire Boys...