Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Live Next Door to a Cemetery

by Teresa Slack

Let’s face it. Writers are weird. We’re fascinated by things the rest of the world ignores, fears, dreads or dismisses. Case in point: Cemeteries. Show me a writer who doesn’t love walking through one reading the headstones and thinking of all the stories represented, and I’ll show you an odd writer who probably hasn’t written in a while.

While other couples visit antique shops and museums on vacation, my husband and I plan our route around nearby cemeteries. One stone I will never forget from a cemetery in Winchester, KY was an epitaph to a baby boy who had died in 1900 shortly before his first birthday. It read: “How many dreams lie buried here?”
Doesn’t that sum it up?

I live next door to a cemetery. Nearly every time a guest visits my house for the first time I get some variation of the following question: “Aren’t you creeped out living so close to a cemetery?” My husband always laughs and says, “At least the neighbors are quiet.”

The writer in me couldn’t be happier with the cracked, faded marble stones marching up the hillside where I walk my dogs. It’s a small cemetery with stones beginning pre-Civil War to present day. While the dogs sniff for deer and raccoon and chase skittering leaves, I browse the stones and imagine what life was like for people I never met.

How many dreams, secrets, lies, fears, triumphs and stories are buried under each headstone? Tomorrow is November 1st—the beginning of National Novel Writing Month for many writers around the world. Do you need inspiration before you get started? I dare you to visit a local cemetery on this chilly, windy Halloween. You’ll be amazed by the stories waiting to be told. Are you brave enough to be the one to write them?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman

I am so excited to welcome Carole Brown to Writers Rest. Carole is here to celebrate the release of her first book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, and she allowed me to participate in her scavenger hunt. What fun!
About The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a novel of hope shining through the darkness with strong elements of suspense and romance. This novel was a semifinalist in the Genesis contest and is receiving raving reviews! Release date is October 21, 2013 from the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an ACFW approved publisher. The preorder link for the book which is on SALE NOW is: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman Carole Brown Chapter One Twenty years earlier The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched. The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark. “Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing the fear away. Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him. “And she’ll read to us and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear then rolled over. Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room. Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.” “Please. That hurts.” “Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn’t open. Just like they did when she and mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes. “Stop it—” Rubbing at her eyes the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money. Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Connect with her here: Personal blog: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest: Goodreads: ">