RELEASE DAY PARTY!
I love a new book. Don't you? I especially love it when a long-awaited book, of a favored series, releases. Today, my friend Paisley Kirkpatrick's third book of her historical Paradise Pines Series releases--FOREVER AFTER. I've got her here today to celebrate and to also share a bit of her third book. Paisley used to laugh at how my characters came to me. She told me a while back she wasn't laughing any more. So, Paisley, do tell... Meanwhile, have a slice of cake and a cup of coffee. It's early still, we'll have the champagne later.
Thanks for having me, Vonnie. I see you were baking again. You know how I love strawberries. I thought today would never get here. I am thrilled to introduce my third book. Because of this series' connection to my ancestors, each book has become a project of my heart.
I think the connection to you is one of the reasons I love this series. Here, have a slice of cake.
Thanks! Have you ever wondered where your story ideas come from? It is the one question people ask me the most. Until a very strange and quite remarkable occurrence happened while I wrote Forever After, I had no idea I might have someone living in my head helping me.
One of my great, great grandparents might just be the answer.
Oh, do tell! First, have some coffee to wash down that dry cake. Cream? Sugar?
Charles Kirkpatrick was a doctor who left Illinois and traveled across country on a wagon train in 1849. He kept a journal which is now kept under glass in the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, in California. I can understand why it's considered five-star quality. He was quite literate and wrote a lot of what he saw and what happened around him.
I am lucky enough to have a copy of the journal and was able to share a lot of what he put on the pages in my second story, Marriage Bargain. At the time I felt blessed to have help from one of my ancestors.
His wife, Mary Kirkpatrick, wrote seven stories under the name of Mary Kirke. She is supposedly the first woman to have stories published in a magazine.
Whoot! A feminine trial blazer. I love it!
When I finally settled down and read through one of the five 3-inch thick binders of genealogy my Mother assembled, I was about halfway through writing Forever After. My heroine traveled to San Francisco on a ship without luggage and she suffered greatly from nausea. When I read my great, great grandmother's first story published in a magazine, I was caught off guard when I found two of her sentences were written verbatim to mine. Also, the scene was under the same circumstances as mine -- on a ship to San Francisco, no luggage, and constantly plagued with nausea. Eerie, spooky, unbelievable - these were the words running through my head. How could this have happen? In all fairness, I couldn't leave my story similar to hers so I ultimately did change the scene somewhat so we can both take credit for what we've written.
Oh, Paisley, that just gives me chills. Here have some chocolate. I brought some home from Germany.
Mmmm, these are great! At my next Sacramento Valley Rose chapter meeting our guest speaker spoke about past lives. I told her what had happened to me and asked if I could have inherited my great, great grandmother's memories. She agreed it was possible, but thought it was more than likely I inherited Mary Kirke.
On one other note, when I read the last two sentences of my great, great grandmother's story I cried and I still get emotional telling you about them. She was standing on the wharf at San Francisco Harbor. She had just arrived after sailing from the east coast to San Francisco and was waiting for the man she was to marry to meet her. She felt his hand on her shoulder and knew she was home. I have tears telling it again.
I have no idea how her words got in my head, but if it is true and she is living in there giving me plots, I am not complaining. I have no idea where my ideas come from or why this time period and the gold country has always been important to me, but it's a gift and I intend to always nurture it.
Wow, Paisley. Just wow! Time top pop the champagne cork. A story like this deserves some bubbly. Let's toast to your third book, to great sales and positive reviews. Did you bring a copy of the cover? Your publisher does great covers. I just love them.
Thanks. Everyone at Desert Breeze Publishing has treated me so well.
Abandoned by her sisters, her father in jail, Marinda Benjamin takes on the care of her ailing mother the best way possible -- working for an unscrupulous man with the power to crush her. Forced to spy on a decent man, Marinda's honesty saves her virtue and revenge restores her self-respect.
When Ethan Braddock discovers his brother's poker pot cleaning his private office, he jumps to the right conclusion -- she's there to spy for his nemesis. Ethan can't help but find her irresistible. In spite of what his heart tells him, his brain reserves judgment on her character. Until he unravels the mystery of her connection to Danforth, trust is the one thing he can't allow himself. For that, she'll have to prove herself.
Marinda Benjamin won't marry until she finds the forever after kind of love. Has the man she's dreamed of loving been beside her all along?
Have some fruit, ladies. We're eating more fresh fruits and vegies around here thanks to the diabetes. Now, Paisley, share your excerpt with us. I can't wait!
Fulton County, Illinois
"I'll bet this little lady against whatever you've got in your hand."
A sudden hush stifled all the noise in the Hidey Hole Saloon. Master against novice. Who would win? Then quiet snickers began to echo off the wood walls. The regulars of the saloon moved in for a closer look.
Marinda Benjamin stared around at all the patrons who just witnessed her humiliation by Danforth's claim. She latched onto the back of her employer's chair to steady her crumbling nerves. Jonas Danforth had bet her, body and soul, in a card game.
Fancy women dressed in garish attire crowded around the poker table. Some stared at her with pity while a few sneered in obvious enjoyment of seeing another Benjamin sister fall from grace.
She wracked her brain for a way of preventing the ridiculous bet, but she knew Danforth held all the cards. Yet she had to stop this travesty. "Enough!" She stepped up beside his chair. "You can't do--"
The menace in Danforth's glare as he looked at her stopped her from saying more.
A malicious sneer marred his face. "As long as I hold the loan on your house, you'll do as I say. Is that clear?"
She wanted to run, but her feet refused to move. She wanted to speak her piece, as she always did, but now was not the time. So instead, she held her head high. She refused to allow Jonas Danforth to see her frustration. He had broken her father's spirit. He would not break hers.
The town's mischief-maker sat across from Danforth. Patrick Braddock glanced her way. "She looks like she might be worth five twenty-dollar gold eagles and I could use a servant. I call your bet. Let's see what ya got."
The knot in her stomach tightened.
Danforth put his concentration back to the table. He placed three kings on the table -- a heart, a diamond, and a spade. He leaned back and twirled his waxed mustache around his pinky finger. The smirk he directed her way turned her blood cold.
WHEW! WE HAVE PARTIED HEARTY TO CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF FOREVER AFTER. PAISLEY, WISHING YOU GREAT SALES, MY FRIEND!