Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: PROLOGUES, FLASHBACKS, DREAMS, & EPILOGUES, OH MY!

As authors, we are cautioned against using these devices.


On one hand, I agree.


On the other hand, I have used each of these at different times. The problem with each and why they are generally frowned upon is their misuse or poor use. When used well, they are great plot devices and can enhance a story. When used poorly, they can be detrimental.


Prologues
are those introductory scenes the author wants the reader to know before the main part of the story starts. Some readers always read the prologues and some readers never read the prologues. Those who don’t have probably read too many unnecessary ones. Those who do, like me, want to make sure we don’t miss anything.

~Some times the prologue is something that happened months or years before the start of the story. I always have to wonder if this information would do better in a flashback.

~Some times in a thriller, suspense, or mystery, the prologue will be from a victim’s or bad guy’s point of view, and that point of view won’t be used again in the story.

~Some times in mystery/thriller/suspense, the author will take an exciting scene from the middle of the book and put it in a prologue to add tension and suspense before much of interest happens to engage the reader. I tend not to like these as they feel like cheating to me. I feel as though the author couldn’t figure out how to make the first chapter interesting enough, so they pad the beginning. I know this is an often used device in these types of stories, but I still don’t care for them. I’m not one who reads the end of a book first. This kind of prologue is the author forcing me to read a part of the story that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t even really care for this type of thing in my favorite TV shows, but those work a bit better for me because I already care about the characters.

~Some times prologues are just back-story dumps. This is a no-no. Sprinkle back story in throughout the story.

As authors, we must ask ourself if the reader must have this information to enjoy the story or does the author just want to tell it. If it is necessary information, can the author sprinkle it in later in the story when it really matters? If the author gives vital information in the prologue, by the time that information is needed, can the reader remember it after 200 pages? Or is the author going to repeat the information.

In my first published novel, Newlywed Games, the editor asked for a prologue, so I wrote one. She felt that readers needed to see my hero and heroine together before the inciting incident in chapter one.


The keys to a good prologue are to make them relevant, engaging, and short. The reader wants to get into the main story you promised them from the description.

Because I know that some people never read prologues, I try not to use them. I’ve heard some authors say that it’s fine if some of the readers don’t read the prologue. My questions is: If it’s fine not to read the prologue, why put it in?


Flashbacks
are when the point of view character remembers, in a showing scene, something that happened before the point in the story where the character is currently. Flashbacks are tricky business. Done well, they can help. Done poorly, and they only serve to confuse the reader.

I read a book that was a series of out of sequence flashbacks. There were flashbacks within flashbacks, within flashbacks. After a couple of chapters, I gave up on trying to figure out any kind of sequence of events. If I wasn’t reading it for book club group, I would have set it down and never picked it up again. I saw absolutely no need to tell the story in such a disorganized out-of-sequence order. The writing itself was good and engaging, but I was too distracted by trying figure out when in time I was to enjoy it. No, this wasn’t The Time Traveler’s Wife. I could actually follow that one, more or less, and enjoyed it.

I read another book which had a lot of short flashbacks I felt worked well. I knew when I was heading into a flashback, when I was coming back out, and the flashback related to what was going on in the main storyline. The information in the flashback was needed at that point in time to help understand the current story.


Dreams
are the showing and experiencing what the point of view character is asleep dreaming. Some authors like to use these to up the tension by having the character experience something exciting that doesn’t really have anything to do the actual story.

I try to be careful how I use dreams. I’ve used them to put pieces of a mystery together that the character’s conscious mind couldn’t while they were awake. I used them to highlight a fear. I’ve used them to help a character make an important decision or discovery about themself.

Like prologues and flashbacks, dream sequences should be kept short. If the author wants the reader to believe the events in a dream are really happening, they shouldn’t do it for very long.

Epilogues are those scenes that happen after the main story has ended. These often occur months or years later to show where the characters are now. I think of the four, epilogues are the least troublesome. If a reader is stratified with how the main storyline ended, they can quit without feeling as though they are missing something. Like prologues, I don’t use these often. I try to have a satisfying ending without them. I have included epilogues in a number of my books. Sometimes of my own accord and sometimes because the publisher has requested them.

So what about you? Do you read prologues and epilogues? Why or why not? Do you like flashbacks and/or dream sequences?


NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.


A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?


This collection is going away at the end of October.

Get it while you still can.

HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old
West Christian Romance (4 novels and 4 novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love!
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: TUMBLEWEEDS: A Wild West Icon



Picture this, the wide, empty street down the middle of a 19th century wild west town. A lonely tumbleweed rolls into the dusty street, turns, and heads off into the distance.

Could you picture any western American town without a tumbleweed or two rolling around it?





Tumble Weed (Salsola Tragus) a.k.a. “Russian thistle” or “wind witch”.

As the name implies, tumbleweeds aren’t native to North America. So just how long ago did these Russian invaders arrive to have been so strongly associated with all things American western?

Up until 1873, North America didn’t have tumbleweeds. Seriously? I would have thought they would have been here long before that to be such a Wild West icon. It is believed that they snuck into the country with some Ukrainian farmers’ flax seed. Another theory is they hitch a ride in wool. The first report of the tumbling pests in the United States was in Bon Homme County, South Dakota. Within two decades, these nuisances were in a dozen of states and by 1900 had reached the Pacific Coast.

In an 1894 report by government botanist Lyster Hoxie Dewey, he wrote this about the effected areas in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, “…this makes one almost continuous area of about 35,000 square miles which has become more or less covered with the Russian thistle in the comparatively brief period of twenty years.” Nearly every state is now home to the Russian thistle. They are an agricultural nuisance and fire hazard.

There is something mystical about this ball of dried up plant that comes from somewhere yonder and heads to places unknown. So much so, that tumbleweeds have become sort of a legend in themselves. They have been immortalized in movies, TV, books, poems, and songs. Here’s one song by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.




They survive and thrive at almost any elevation from below sea level to over 8500 feet and in most inhospitable environments. They are drought resistant and spread like wild fire. They grow from a few inches to three feet, even some the size a VW Bug. Each winter when they dry out, the whole plant above ground dries out, breaks off, and goes wherever the wind takes it. Literally. Each tumbling ball has around 250,000 seeds. No wonder they are so invasive and took over so quickly.




But things are not all bad concerning this invasive plant. Navaho found some medicinal uses for the plant for treating influenza and small pox. Frontiers-people burned them to make soap. Recipes using tumbleweed were created in areas where little else was available. Several animals, including mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs and birds, feed on the succulent, tender young shoots of the plant. During the severe drought of the 1930s, some farmers saved their livestock from starvation by feeding their livestock tumbleweeds when other food wasn’t available.

Even tumbleweeds as play things!




Tumbleweed have been both a blessing and a curse.

Did you know you can buy tumbleweeds from many places online? It goes to prove that some people will buy just about anything.

I may just have to git me one. =0)

NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.

A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?

HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old West 
Christian Romance (4 novels and 4
novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love! Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: THE PAPER TOWEL MISTAKE & RECYCLE PROJECT



 Paper towels are used in virtually every room of the house; from the kitchen and bathroom to the living room and basements. For cleaning counters, walls, tubs, sinks, and more. They are used both inside and out. They can clean spots off a mirror or sop up a mess. With so many uses, it’s no wonder that paper towels are the second most used paper product behind toilet paper. 

But paper towels were created from a mistake. You could say that the Scott Paper Company made lemonade out of lemons, or in this case, made paper towels out of a railroad car full of defective toilet paper. The paper had been mistakenly created too thick and useless for toilet paper.

Arthur Scott had read an article of a school teacher who had given her students soft paper in the community washroom to dry their hands and then thrown away rather than spreading germs with a multi-use cloth towel. He had the defective paper cut into towel sized pieces and highlighted their superior hygienic quality for public washrooms in restaurants and hotels.


In 1931, Scott introduced the first kitchen paper towel. It measured 18” by 13”. However, paper towels didn’t catch on and didn’t become a must have item on everyone’s shopping list for some time. I suspect part of the reason could be the Great Depression. Who could afford a luxury like paper towels when their bellies were empty?

When my grandparents were young, they never would have imagined that one day cloth could be replaced by paper. The problem with the repeated uses of a cloth towel between washings is that it becomes germ and unsanitary.

In my attempt to reduce my trash footprint and consume less single-use items, I have come up with un-paper-towels. This is not a new thing. It’s more of an old thing, and with so many people on a green kick these days, it has made a comeback.

Their are a lot of YouTube videos of people showing how they make multi-use towels. Most buy fabric, cut it, and sew the edges. Some even add hook-n-loop dots to get them to stick together so they can roll them up like traditional paper towels on a roll. If I was going to give up paper towels, I needed something that was cheap, easy, and convenient.

Being on an extremely tight budget for the past several years, I didn’t want to spend money on fabric for this purpose. In order to have enough to use them for everything like we do with traditional paper towels, I would need scads of them so I wouldn’t have to wash them everyday. I needed something super cheap that I could make several “paper” towels out of. And what is cheaper than things we discard anyway.

So after some thinking, I decided that old T-shirts would make the perfect paper-towel replacement. They are cheap (from old ones I have in my closet that I no longer wear to ones I’ve been given to cheap ones at 50% off at a thrift store), and I can make several out of each T-shirt. And I don’t have to sew around the edges. Just wash them, cut them, stack them, and use them. Repeat.


When I make my T-shirt totes, I use the normally discarded sleeves as un-paper-towels. I use them in the same way I would paper towels. From sopping up spills, wiping counters, holding fresh fruit I’m eating, to many other things.



At first, I unhemmed the sleeves as to not waste any fabric. That became tedious right away, so I cut off a few hems. 


Then I decided I didnt care if one side had a hem or not.


I collect the dirty ones in an area and wash them all together in an extra hot load.


Like some of the current paper towel companies who have made it easy to tear off various sizes of paper towels depending on the job, I have cut my un-paper-towels into various sizes for the same purpose.

Because they are super easy to “make” and cheap, I can have piles of them. I don’t need to worry about running out. And because the T-shirt material is thinner than terry cloth, they don’t take up a lot of space.


I bought these at a dollar store, thinking I could cut them in half and get twice as many for my money.



Well, I needed to sew the cut side so they didn’t unravel, and these particular ones didn’t absorb water well, so I lost interest in them. I did like the scrubby back they had.

I’ve been using my un-paper-towels for a couple of months now and like them a lot.

I must confess that if I didn’t like them and they weren’t easy and cheap to make, I wouldn’t use them. If I need to use one or two for some truly gross job that I’d be concerned that no amount hot water or bleach would make them sanitary, I wouldn’t feel bad about throwing the occasional one away.

Not only am I not needlessly using up paper towels, but I’m repurposing T-shirts that might have otherwise gone into a land fill, as well as not spending money on something designed to be thrown away.

I’m really happy with my un-paper-towels.

And thank you to all the YouTubers who put their video ideas for reusable “paper” towels online, giving me inspiration. Though someone may have already made these out of T-shirts, I didn't see any.

Related Posts:
Can I Recycle That: http://marydavis1.blogspot.com/2019/08/tuesday-tidbits-can-i-recycle-that.html
Throwing Away Money: https://marydavis1.blogspot.com/2019/09/tuesday-tidbits-throwing-away.html
T-shirt Totes:
 https://mountainbrookink.com/2019/07/25/mary-davis-t-shirts-to-totes-an-upcycling-craft-from-mary-davis-giveaway/

NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.

A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?


HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old West 
Christian Romance (4 novels and 4 novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love! Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: WHERE DID AMERICA COME FROM?

Before they were called North, Central, and South America (often shortened to the Americas), the American continents were referred to as the New World. But where did the name America come from? Who named the New World continents America?

I thought there would be a straightforward easy answer, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive story behind the name. I came a cross four different versions. Here they are:


1) The Map Maker

In 1499, navigator Amerigo Vespucci made the first of two or more trips to what would eventually be known as the Americas. He was the first to realize that this was a new continent and not the coast of Asia. He called this place Novus Mundus, “The New World” and thus coining this term.
Colorized Version Of Waldseemüller's Map of the Americas.
The Americas are the skinny ones to the left.
Martin Waldseemüller, a cartographer, made one of the first maps of the New World in 1507. He had the mistaken impression that Amerigo Vespucci had discovered this New World and named it after him. He translated Amerigo into the latin Amerigus and then into the feminine America. Some time later when Waldseemüller realized his mistake, he removed Vespucci’s name from the maps, but by then it was too late. The New World was already known as America.


2) The Wealthy Patron

The MATTHEW Ship mostly funded by Richard Amerike.
Richard Amerike, descendant of English earls, rose in status and became very wealthy. He provided more money to build a ship for John Cabot’s proposed voyage. For his patronage, Amerike asked that any new found land be named after him. Cabot sailed in May of 1497 and landed on a “New Found Land” thirty-four days later. It’s not a far leap from Amerike to America.


3) The Popol Vuh

Page from the original written Popol Vuh
Both Columbus and Vespucci agreed that the New World was more thickly populated than Europe, Asia, or Africa before they each arrived. So, it makes sense that the inhabitants would have named the land in which they lived. The Popol Vuh is a written record from an oral history and mythology of the Mayan, Inca, and Aztecs. These peoples worshiped the plumed serpent the Incas called this god Amaru. They called their land Amruca which is literally translated “The Land of the Plumed Serpent.” Amruca is very closely pronounced like America. 


4) The Star

And yet another theory is that America is named after a star. Beta Ursae Majoris, formerly known as Merak, which is an AM star (a metal-lined star). Does the person who thought up this theory think that the “AM” and “Merak” were combined? As in “AM-Merak” star? I don’t know.

So what do you think? Which version do you think is the right one? Have you heard of any others?


NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.


A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?




HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old West 
Christian Romance (4 novels and 4 novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love! Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday Tidbits: COUSIN CONUNDRUM

1st cousin? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? Once, twice, thrice removed? Isn’t a cousin a cousin? A lot of people find the whole 1st, 2nd,...