Friday, December 7, 2018

A Christmas Miracle


I believe in miracles. I feel that a loving Heavenly Father is watching over us, caring what happens to us and worrying about us. Sometimes we wonder if miracles still occur in this day and age. I believe they do, according to our faith and prayers. One mother wrote about a Christmas miracle. I know this woman personally and she believed in prayer. This story is one of love and miracles… of faith and hope.

Don’t Let Him Die

I first became aware of my twelve year old son, George’s, illness when the choppy rendition at the piano of “Hark! The Herald Angels sing,” had stopped. Glancing at him, his head resting on the piano, I asked, “What’s wrong?’

He replied, “I don’t feel good.” As he looked up I saw his cheeks were flushed; on closer inspection it proved to be a fine rash. He had a temperature. I called our family doctor and described the symptoms. He said it sounded like the measles that were going around and he prescribed a well-known drug.

The next day, George complained of his eyes hurting. Blisters began to appear on his ears and lips, and his temperature rose. After sitting by his side for several hours, I had to leave the room momentarily. As I returned, the sight was so shocking. I rushed from the room, dropped to the floor and cried. George had rubbed all the skin from his blistered lips. His ears, neck and face were a mass of blisters, with one large blister hanging like a sac on one side of his face. George did not sleep. He kept asking us to please turn out the lights. It was frightening to hear him ask this; there was only a small night light burning and I had a small folded towel over his eyes.

Upon our arrival at the hospital, we were taken to an isolation room. As the ambulance attendant lifted my son onto the bed, the large blister on his face, a hanging sac of sloshing fluid broke.

Now, lying naked on the sterile sheets, coughing and choking, his body a mass of blisters and skinless places, he looked like someone wearing an ugly mask. I wanted to cry out, “No! No!” But I prayed that for my son’s sake my voice would be calm.

Nothing could have torn me away from my son at this time; so I was given a hospital gown and a mask. The next few days were crucial ones. Large areas of skin that had gone dark and looked as if they were scalded, pushed off from George’s back and he stuck to the sheets. The skin, pushed up on his upper arm, looked like a wrinkled nylon stocking. George’s mouth and throat were blistered, as well as the bronchial tubes, and he was coughing constantly. I covered my face, put my head on the windowsill and fought the tears.

The eye doctor said the eyes were blistered, even on the cornea, and added, “If he comes along—we may not be able to save his eyes.” It came to me that my son might be blind!

A new nurse coming in to put drops in George’s eyes, leaned over him and said, “George, I have something to put in your eyes. Can you turn your head this way?” She leaned over, and as he turned his face with its black rimmed hole for a mouth, one side of his face practically skinless, and skinless ears—all this was too much for this nurse. She became nauseous, gagged and hurriedly left the room.

One night, two couples were standing in the hall. One of the men looked in at George and gasped. When his wife stepped over to where he was standing, he led her away, remarking, “You do not want to see that.”

Each time the doctor entered the room, he would greet my son with, “How are you George?” George would answer, “Pretty good.” Always pretty good. At one time the doctor looked at him and said, “You are a game little guy!” There were tears in his eyes.

He asked me if I was praying. I assured him I was. He also asked if his name could be put in the temple so those who were there could pray for him.

One evening, the young doctor gravely told me things were not going well and that he had done all that he could. At that moment I felt desperately alone; what could I do except go to God for help? I returned to the room and knelt beside my son’s bed and pleaded with God to let him live.

The next day, George asked, “Are they still praying for me?” I said, “Oh, yes. We surely are son.” Then he asked me if I’d hold his hand. He said, “If you don’t mind holding a scratchy one.” All day I held his hand. By evening I sensed a calmness come over him. I said, “Doctor, I think he is better!” The doctor examined him, turned to me and with a look of almost disbelief and surprise said, “I think he is!” The crisis had passed.

The miraculous powers of the body to heal took over. New skin began to grow and the old skin sloughed off. All twenty of his fingernails and toenails came off.

Suddenly we were aware that it was Christmas Eve. Kind nurses and Santa himself came to where a brave young boy with a blotched and burned looking body sat in the bed. By tipping his head back, he saw through slits of eyes a Christmas bouquet and said, “I can see! I can see!” At that moment I was humbled beyond words.

The young doctor came into the room and said, “George, you have made medical history.” Then he asked if we minded the case being written for the medical journals. I tried to thank our tall young doctor. He said humbly, “I just stood by.” But I knew he had worked valiantly to save my son.

Our family doctor came into the room and said, “George, you are a walking miracle.” The nurses, who came to say good-bye to us, said that no one in the hospital expected to see our son go out of the hospital alive. The eye doctor said, “I feel so humble about this boy. It certainly has made me a believer.”

At this unforgettable Christmas time I realized that, to me, Christmas would forever be a time of rejoicing; rejoicing for the gift of a son.” (Opal H. Clarke, “Don’t Let Him Die”)

This young man grew to adulthood but his body isn’t the same. His eyes are constantly red because his tear ducts were destroyed, so he has to use artificial tears. He coughs frequently and has a raspy sound when he breathes because he has Chronic Bronchitis, which was also caused from his illness. This faithful man, George Amos Clarke, my sweetheart and husband, was grateful for a miracle.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

HISTORICAL ROMANCE EXTRAVAGANZA!


Chivalry, Adventure, and Romance! Sir Walter Scott was one of the first authors to popularize this genre when he wrote Ivanhoe. Historical romance is about the adventure of living in a different time period. This was a time when chivalry and valor were important. It was when a man defended a woman’s honor at all costs. Suko’s Notebook wrote, “Is it just me, or are love stories set in the past more romantic than those set in the present day?” This is an Historical Romance Extravaganza.

One Last Dance: Felicity Brooks is a talented artist but her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn.

 

“One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters; they are engaging, funny and passionate. I especially liked Mr. Adams’ character as he was both witty and charming with an air of mystery about him. I was impressed by Felicity’s character. She was a strong woman who has seen some of the world. From the moment they meet you can tell at some point sparks will fly, and they will challenge each other’s perspectives on the problem at hand, which made this book rather gripping. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again.” --Author Katrina Hart

Melinda and the Wild West: The Award Winning Original Version: Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. No matter the trial that comes her way, she is ready to fight for what she believes in. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

“From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done!” --Debra Gaynor, Reader Views


Edith and the Mysterious Stranger: Edith is a nurse and has gone home to assist her cousin who is “with child.” Edith has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high. However, all that changes when a mysterious stranger starts writing to her. For the first time, she gets to know a man's inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. The question that puzzles her is whether or not he's as wonderful in person as he is in his letters.

“Who wouldn’t like letters from a mysterious secret admirer? And reading a story about one was almost as good! Loved that storyline and how stories with other couples on various stages of their love story were woven in. Great performance by a pro reader who can even sing when needed!” --Author Brooke Williams


Jenny’s Dream: Jenny has a dream, to escape her small hometown and become a writer. She develops a friendship with a young farmer who is new to the area and has secretly fallen in love with her. After she realizes that her friend means more to her than she thought, she must now choose between a career and romance. Which dream should she pursue? The only thing standing in her way is an unpleasant memory, which has haunted her since childhood. She must learn to forgive before she can choose which dream to follow. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community.

“Jenny’s Dream tells a beautiful story that incorporates the value of loyalty, love, family and forgiveness into it. I found myself greatly enjoying the romances between Jenny’s parents and between Jenny and Will. I also enjoyed how the author put real experiences, taken from her family, into the plot. This is a great touch because it makes the story seem real. It is a wholesome novel that will be able to be enjoyed by family members of all ages who would enjoy a great historical romance. I think this series is destined to be a classic.” --Review by Paige Lovitt, Reader Views


Sarah’s Special Gift: Sarah is a beautiful and successful dance teacher. She is deaf, but this does not stop her from living life to its fullest. While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with this very special lady and ends up defending her honor. He finds that Sarah has gone through many trials as she teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. Meanwhile, David learns about the legend of the Bear Lake Monster and wonders why the community believes in such a thing. He is determined to prove there is no Bear Lake Monster.

“This story really resonated with me, having a daughter who used to dance with a professional dance company as a student and who has partial hearing loss. Much like Sarah in the story, my daughter endured much difficulty communicating with others for 10 years, yet she never experienced difficultly expressing herself in dance. As she did with the other audiobooks in this series, Carolyn Kashner did an admirable job narrating. She provided varying voices for all characters and inflected just the right amount of emotion in all the right places. Bravo!” --Lil Miss Molly Reviews


Elena, Woman of Courage: The Roaring Twenties was a time of great change, when women raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. When Elena Yeates settles into a small western town as the newest doctor, a few problems arise. The town is not ready for a female doctor, let alone one so strong and independent. She must struggle against the prejudice to establish her new practice. As she fights to prove herself, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

“Clarke’s books are enjoyable to read, and although they're wholesome, they're never boring. Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters' thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly. The author also pays close attention to historical accuracy.” --Suko’s Notebook


PERIOD ADVENTURE ROMANCE
The Rebels of Cordovia: Centuries after the legendary Robin Hood, a group of men and women find themselves fighting for the same cause. Robin’s Rebels realize they must fight against the tyranny of a wicked king and help the people survive this oppression. Set in the 1700s in the small country of Cordovia, groups of rebels begin springing up, but its Robin’s Rebels who get the attention of the king.

In this battle for freedom, a tender love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?

“I so enjoyed this fun book! It has adventure, romance, mystery, and action.  No boring moments here. Placed back in the days of wicked and oppressive kings, the rebels work together for the freedoms of the common people.  Will they succeed against the governing forces? The romance is sweet and the action is plenty.” --Sunnie Reviews


The Highwayman of Cordovia: In the country of Cordovia, the people enjoy their new-found liberty, but all is not well. A group of powerful men plan to take over the small country and replace the leader with a king. With the help of a bold highwayman and a young woman, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?

“Christine doesn’t realize that the dreaded highwayman she loathes is actually Austin Knight, the young man whom her affections have long been aimed. It sets up a nice conflict that adds depth and fun to the ongoing political drama that plays out. There are plenty of twists and turns to hold your interest, while the overall read is a simple pleasure that will provide a delightful escape into a world of dashing heroes and brave heroines.”  --Author Laurie L.C. Lewis


The Fox of Cordovia: In this swashbuckling romance, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.

I loved this book. It is full of adventure, drama, intrigue and suspense. We've got kidnapping plots, pirate ships, daring rescues and romance. The author weaves an exciting tale and a sweet romance together in a way that will appeal to all readers and is suitable from age 12 up.” --Inishowen Cailín, Just Book Talk



For Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible Links, visit:

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.



Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Love Story That Grabs At Your Heart!




I LOVE THIS FANTASY SERIES written by Author Serena Clarke. She is a fairly new author. When all three books became available as an audiobook, I just knew I had to listen to them. I can surely say this is my favorite fantasy romance series. The story in each book is exceptional. There is a tender love story, an enchanting kingdom, mystical creatures, adventure, suspense, and mystery between these pages for both young and old alike.

A Quest to Fulfill:
The Treasure of Isian is the first book in the Isian series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by giants, elves, dragons, and a vengeful water-witch. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom?

This story is captivating and has many twists and turns. It gives a new dimension to fantasy characters. It was difficult to put down. Not only is it a fantasy, but a sweet love story that can be enjoyed by all. The devotion of Elani to her Prince was enjoyable, making the reader wonder when the Prince will see her as something more than a servant.” – Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Listen to a sample of The Treasure of Isian

An Arranged Marriage:
What I love about this book is how each person realizes that they must give a little and accept the other’s differences before this marriage can work. This story will pull at your heartstrings like it did mine. In The Alliance of Isian, the second book in this series, the queen decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies.  Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?


I love a good story with an arranged marriage in it--especially if it involves royalty. How could I not love this one? Gabrielle is offered up to marry handsome Prince Alec in order to forge an alliance that will help in the coming war. Their relationship progresses slowly and naturally and I really enjoyed watching it unfold. I loved the mystery and adventure and thought there was just the right amount of fantasy. Of course, my favorite parts were the romance. I loved how kind and gracious this couple was and how they worked together to find a solution to the problems at hand. I really liked the first book, but I loved this one! So far, they just keep getting better!” - Katie Watkins, Katie’s Clean Book Collection

Listen to a sample of The Alliance of Isian

Romance, Adventure, and Mystery:
The Secret of Isian is the last book in this series. Many prophecies have been uttered about the impending war and those who will seek to stop it. With the war finally upon them, Rimelda, a talented seer, has heard the prophecies and believes she can help. Prince Ander, doubtful of her abilities and her true intensions, but determined to save his kingdom accepts her help and they proceed on a quest to end the war. Hindered by enemies as well as their own doubts, Ander and Rimelda must search for guidance in unlikely places and unravel the mysteries of the prophecies. With the world shrouded in darkness, will Ander accept his destiny in time to save the kingdoms and will he admit his true feelings for Rimelda?


You will see battles with interesting characters and mythical creatures. This fantasy is an exciting story that will keep you on your toes and wondering what will happen next. And of course, there is some romance! You will want to keep reading until the end of the book to find out where the interesting twists and turns will lead you.” –Sunnie Reviews
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Listen to a sample of The Secret of Isian


About Author:
Serena Clarke is from Sunny Southern Utah and has taken several writing classes in college. She has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team. She not only is an author, but also creates book covers for authors. She is passionate about learning, education, art and design. To learn more about Serena, visit her website at https://serenaclarke.wordpress.com.

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Serena’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks.

Check out Serena’s Audible Page at https://www.audible.com/author/Serena-Clarke/B009DW3CJ2

Monday, October 15, 2018

Discover Your Family Heritage

Have you ever thought about your family legacy? Maybe it’s time to discover the stories of your past.

My mother was involved with genealogy and it was something she enjoyed. She wanted to plant a seed in me, the same desire as she had, so she told me about my heritage. I soon became interested in my ancestors. These stories were an influence on my life.

I was intrigued when she told me about my great grandmother who was deaf and how spirited she was. Sarah Eckersley Robinson had to rely on women’s intuition and knew when her baby needed her. She sensed it. At night, she would wake up even before her baby cried. When the neighbors were visiting, they were amazed when Sarah excused herself to get her baby who had just awakened from a nap.

Sarah was an example of fortitude and courage. She always listened to the promptings of the spirit. After returning from town, Sarah sensed the presence of someone in the house. Acting quickly, she grabbed her broom and began searching her home. She had a feeling to check her bedroom, but when she entered the room, no one was in sight. She quietly stepped to her bed and looked under it. There she found an evil and lustful man crouched and waiting for Sarah, but he was not prepared for a strong and determined woman with a weapon in her hands.

With all the strength she had, she started whacking him out from under the bed with the broom. She then hit him over the head again and again. Chasing him from the house, she continued beating him as he ran down the street. Sarah had spirit. This wicked man thought he could take advantage of her since she was deaf, but he did not expect such courage and fled. The man never returned. After telling me several stories about my great grandmother, my mother said I looked like her and gave me one of her thimbles.

(Note: Sarah’s life had an impact on me so I decided to write a historical romance and give many of her experiences to my character in Sarah’s Special Gift: A Bear Lake Family Saga.)

My mother told me about my father’s heritage and how my great grandmother, who was from Wales, had just as much spunk. After settling down in Utah, Frances Davies Clark had a harrowing experience, one she never forgot.

When her husband was gone, a band of Warriors came to her home and began picking her grapes, stripping the vineyard of all its fruit. It upset Frances as she watched them filling their bags full. She had babied those vines and this was her first crop. The first thing she saw was a large bowie knife, but she knew that would not do. Then an idea popped into her mind. She quickly put on her husband’s cavalry uniform, hat, and cape. Grasping his sword with one hand, she strode out onto the porch, waving it in the air in a threatening manner and demanding in a loud voice, “Leave now or perish!” Terrified, the marauders dropped their bags and fled as fast as they could, in fear of their lives. When they had disappeared, Frances gathered up the grapes and made grape jelly.

But that wasn’t all. Her adventures continued. One day a bull gored her neighbor and she went to his aid. His abdomen was torn open. With as much courage as possible, Frances washed away the blood, relocated the man’s protruding intestines, and sewed him up with a violin gut string that she had sterilized and soaked. Afterwards, Frances fixed a liniment of arnica burrs steeped in alcohol and then she applied some sterilized cloths to his wound, which was saturated with the liniment. After she finished, Frances told her neighbor that she would return each day and wash his wound with carbolic water and apply fresh bandages. That man lived for over 20 years after his accident.

(Note: This experience with the bull was so impressive that I gave it to my character in Edith and the Mysterious Stranger: A Bear Lake Family Saga. I love giving true experiences from my ancestors to my characters in this series of books.)

After the passing of my parents, I sat down and wrote their story. I wanted my children and grandchildren to learn about their heritage. One of the stories that I included was how my father closed down the school for a day. He was only thirteen and it wasn’t on purpose, but his friends thought he was a hero.

All summer he had been draining the scent glands of skunks and collecting it in a bottle. The following day he took the skunk oil to school with him to show his classmates. His friends had never seen skunk oil before. With all the excitement and attention he was receiving, he felt the bottle slip from his hands and land on the floor of the schoolroom.

The bottle broke into a million pieces and skunk oil splattered everywhere. It landed on the pant legs of his friends and on his own shoes. As the oil saturated the wooden floor, the room filled with the most putrid, foul, disgusting odor anyone had ever breathed in. The children instantly held their noses with their fingers and ran out the door, stumbling over one another as they ran. Marcus was close behind. And so was the teacher! She excused school for the rest of the day and Marcus didn’t get into trouble. He figured the children were so excited to get out of school that no one told on him.

(Note: This experience was so funny that I gave it to one of my characters in Melinda and the Wild West: A Bear Lake Family Saga. It’s so much fun to add true experiences to my stories.)

My mother told me that it was important to learn about my ancestors. So she gave me a “Book of Remembrance” full of stories about my ancestors that she had typed up. One day I came upon a story that brought tears to my eyes. I had never known such courage as my great, great grandmother had displayed. Could I ever be as brave as Martha Raymer Weaver? 

Martha’s husband, Edward Weaver, died from Pneumonia in 1845 and left Martha with seven children. They were living in Illinois at the time when a mob came to the Weaver home. Gilbert, her twelve-year-old son, described the leader as a “large, burly and murderous demon.”

The leader told Martha if she would denounce her religion, then she would be unmolested and they would not burn down her home. She knew they meant business, but her faith in God could not be denied. Martha faced this wicked man and his mob with dignity. Stomping her foot with defiance, she said, “You may burn it and be damned!”

This took the leader by surprise. Here she was, a helpless woman with no man to protect her, and she was standing up to him. Finally, he said, “I’ll give you twenty minutes to get out.”

What he said surprised her. Most people were not given any time to pack. With the help of her seven children, she gathered the most necessary items and threw them into the wagon. They had no team of horses, just one ox and a cow. So the boys yoked them to the wagon and they drove away. Without hesitation, the mob threw a torch to the roof and burned the house to the ground. As Martha watched their home burn, she remembered a nice fat pig that was in a pen behind the house. After the mob left, she sent her sons back to see if it had been spared, but it was burned to a crisp. 

Was this my heritage? Could I ever be as brave as my ancestors? My mother’s love for genealogy piqued my interest. I thought about my mother’s love for genealogy and decided it was time to do something about it. My children were now raised and I had some time on my hands. Since my husband was interested in his ancestors, as well, we put in our application to serve at the Family Search Center in our hometown. We attended a three-week course and learned how to help people who wanted to find their ancestors. Since we live in an area full of canyons, we get a lot of vacationers who come by to visit. I have helped people from many different religions and other countries.

To join Family Search is free. Just go to https://www.familysearch.org and sign up. I hope you can discover your heritage and be proud of who you are!

A BEAR LAKE FAMILY SAGA

To learn more about me, visit my websites below.
Sweet Romance & Mystery Blog: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com/
Family Friendly Audiobooks Blog: https://family-friendly-audiobooks.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 1, 2018

Historical Mystery Romance: One Last Dance Book Release


One Last Dance is about a young woman, Felicity Brooks, who is a talented artist. Her career is cut short when her father passes away. Realizing the importance of family, she travels home to care for her mother. When Felicity meets their new neighbor, a fine-looking bachelor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. But that is not all. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom…a precious treasure that her father discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn.


Author Katrina Hart wrote: “One thing that always keeps me reading this author’s books is her characters; they are engaging, funny and passionate. I especially liked Mr. Adams’ character as he was both witty and charming with an air of mystery about him. I was impressed by Felicity’s character. She was a strong woman who had seen some of the world, only to end up back home where everything feels different. I liked the quirky bond between Mr. Adams and Felicity. He has her pegged from the start and from the moment they meet you can tell at some point sparks will fly, and they will challenge each other’s perspectives on the problem at hand, which made this book rather gripping. One Last Dance kept me guessing until the end and left me wanting to read this book all over again. If you like Historical Romance with a mysterious touch and well-developed characters, this book is a must-read.”
 

When writing historical fiction, as an author I like to add true events that are part of history. Not only does this make the setting feel real, but it’s also fun for the reader to learn what it was like to live during that time period. It helps us to understand their life style.

 

In this historical romance, set in 1835, I wanted the main character to be an art teacher. Since women usually taught children that were elementary age, I had to do some research. Usually men were the ones who taught older children in a college setting. When I discovered there was a small ladies school, I was elated to find that women teachers were hired. If a woman had a desire to teach, they would train them. It was called the Troy Female Seminary.

 

Emma Hart Willard established this Seminary on February 23, 1821 in Troy, New York. It was the first in the United States, which provided young women with the same college education as that of young men. Many parents wanted their daughters to be educated beyond the average classroom setting. “The seminary provided tuition on credit for students who could not afford it, with the agreement that those students would eventually become teachers themselves.” (Scott, Anne F. “What, Then, is the American: This New Woman?” The Journal of American History 65, 1978: 679–703)


My story does not take place at this school but it gives the reader the background of my character and what she did for a living. She taught art to young women. In the first chapter, you learn that Felicity has returned home after the death of her father. Giving a good background for your character is important.

While teaching at the Seminary, Felicity learned a new dance step from her students called the Boston Waltz. This dance becomes one of the main themes of my story. In my research, I found that Lorenzo Papatino introduced this American Waltz to Americans in 1834. It is much slower than the original waltzes in Germany and France. In America, the Boston Waltz received much criticism by the upper classes. They didn’t want to overstep the bounds of propriety. After years of dancing at arm’s length, it was not readily accepted. To embrace one’s partner was unheard of and drew much criticism, especially among the pastors.

When Felicity finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom that her father discovered in his attic, her life takes a new turn. With the help of her neighbor, Nicholas Adams, they search for evidence. While Nicholas and Felicity search for clues, I decided to add a few activities for them to attend. This way they can get to know one another. When Aunt Beth decides to have a ball, Felicity finds herself dancing the waltz with a man she is definitely attracted to…Nicholas Adams.

Why not take them to the County Fair next? As early as 1686, counties would set aside specific days for a three-day fair. It was usually held every May and October. Fairs were held for educational and social purposes. Women’s competitions usually consisted of needlework. During the early 1800s, horse-racing competitions were part of the fairs. Nicholas, of course, has to enter his horse in the race. She is a fine mare and Nicholas feels that he has a chance.

I was intrigued to find out they had “plowing matches” during the fairs. Each farmer had to plow so much land. The first one done was the winner. The farmer would attach his horse to a plow and away he went. The farmer could have help if he wanted. While he held the reins, his son held the plow. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun without a cheering section. There has to be people cheering for their neighbor, just like any competition. In my story, Felicity cheers for a father and his son, with a mule pulling their plow. As for Nicholas, he shakes his head at the idea. Mules are stubborn animals. A horse could out-plow a mule any day. That’s what he thinks. The race is one!

Fairs always had a Cattle Show or Swine Show. It was a competition of the best and healthiest-looking animals. Have you ever heard of a “Cow-Chip Tossing” competition? Men choose the most interesting ideas to compete in. Why would anyone want to throw a piece of cow-dung in the air?

One Last Dance by Linda Weaver Clarke is a historical romance with a mystery to add to the tale. Felicity has always been a strong and independent woman. Amongst mystery, loss, paintings, and a career, she is going to have to decide if love has a place in her heart.” –Author Anna Del C Dye
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You can find One Last Dance at Amazon.

You can also find it at Barnes and Noble.

About Author: Linda Weaver Clarke was raised among the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and now lives among the red hills of southern Utah. Linda is the author of 24 books. She has written in several different genres, which include: historical romances, romantic cozy mysteries, a mystery suspense series, children’s book, and non-fiction. All her books are family friendly. To learn more, visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.
 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Bedtime Stories: Three Children’s Bedtime Stories On Audio


A children's picture book that addresses a child’s fears was released for ages three to eight. It was so well received that it has been made into an audiobook and produced by Audible. Most people listen to audiobooks for entertainment while working or exercising. When a narrator reads a book, it’s easy to picture the characters interacting with one another, bringing the story to life as you or your child listens to the dynamics of the narrator. You can easily hear the anxiety or humor in the person’s voice.

Sonja Nishimoto, of Sunnie Reviews, wrote: “It is a sweet book which I think my grandkids would enjoy. It is written for younger children and shows the trust between mother and child.”

In each of these stories, a mother helps her child understand her fears at night. In Shadows In My Room, Kayla sees shadows that frighten her. When her mother notices the young girl’s anxiety, she answers all her questions about each shadow that she points to and helps her to calm down. In What’s That Noise, Amber hears noises that disturb her, such as the wind and thunder. Her mother teaches Amber to use her imagination by turning something fearful into something fun.


An extra story was added to this audio, which is not in the book. I'm Not Sleepy describes how Cason finds every way possible to get out of going to bed, such as needing a drink of water and having his mother read a book to him. With each request, he tells her that he is not sleepy.

After listening to this audiobook, Inishowen Cailín from Ireland, wrote: This is a lovely book for your child to listen to at night especially if they are in any way anxious at bedtime. The stories talk through some of the most common fears little children have; scary shadows and noises, and explains them away in a cute and fun way. I also loved how the mother sang a little hymn to lull the child to sleep at the end of each story, as a signal that it was time to sleep. I can imagine that with repeated listening a child would naturally pick up on this cue as well.”

Was it difficult to listen to without a picture book? Donna Cochran wrote: “Not having the book to look at the pictures, I wasn't sure how much I would like it. But I'm happy to say that I was impressed! With the author's words and the voices of the narrator, I didn't need the book. The words flowed with emotion and fun.”

Red Mountain Shadows Publishing presents Bedtime Stories by Author Linda Weaver Clarke. With narrator, Heidi Allred, she draws your child in and helps him or her feel part of the adventure. Listen to a sample of this audiobook below.




LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join audible.com. Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page: https://www.audible.com/author/Linda-Weaver-Clarke/B004P47EWO