Samantha and Iris

Samantha’s eyes ran with tears. She clutched a picture of her mother in one hand, with her other she held onto the hand of her nine-year-old sister Iris. What happened now? The picture trembled in her hand, the image shimmered as if in a liquid mirror, like the one in the fairy tale Mom used to read at bedtime. The voice came to her from a long distance away.
“Is there someone we can call for you?”
Her attention slowly refocused on the figure crouched beside her knee. Sam let go of Iris’s hand to swipe at the moisture on her face. Iris doubled over next to her, racked by silent sobs.  Sam pulled her closer and met the eyes of the police woman. The pity she saw in the woman’s face was almost more than Sam could bear.
Sam sniffed. “I’m sorry, what?”
The woman’s voice was gentle as she repeated her question. “Is there someone we can call for you? A friend, pastor, relative. We have to make sure there’s an adult here with you before we leave, someone to take care of you.”
Sixteen-year-old Samantha Evans looked around the room. Someone to take care of them. Her fingers tightened on the frame. That was Mom’s job, there wasn’t anyone else.
She looked at the picture.
Mom’s dead?
Why couldn’t she think? She needed to think. Things would be up to her now.
Sam tried to answer, couldn’t. She cleared her throat. “Helen. Helen Cooper.” She recited the number for Mom’s best friend from memory, buried her face in Iris’s hair, and surrendered to tears of despair.
The officer stood and took a couple of steps away as she placed the call. Steps away but the room still echoed with her words as she spoke into the phone. “Is this Helen Cooper? There’s been an accident…”
***Two more new characters this week. I hope I've peeked your curiosity. I'm trying something different for these little entries. I'm using a writing prompt, a few words, maybe a whole sentence to get started. Can you spot it? If you think you know what it is, leave your guess in a comment and I'll let you know if you're right. It will also enter you to win my copy of Wedding Belles by Janice Hanna Thompson.
While you're here, don't forget to check out the pages on the side bar. Terri has a nice interview with Janice Hanna Thompson, and on Karla's page, you can get a sneak peek at Lena Nelson Dooley's upcoming release Mary's Blessing.
I hope you enjoyed you visit. Please come again.***

Progressive Blog


Where would you go? Back or forward?

Some writer friends and I got together and thought it would be fun to do a progressive blog. We asked each other some questions and decided to share the answers on our blogs this week. My question?
If you could live in any time period in past or future what would it be and why?

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer.  ‎"I'd set my time machine to 1907 so I could learn about my grandmother as a child as well as learn family history.

Yvonne Blake.  The culture and excitement of the 1800's has always appealed to me. I could easily live with lanterns and buggies and such. It was a time of change and hope and adventure.

 Valerie Friesen Comer.  I love NOW. I really do. I love that my family has provided a strong make-do heritage and that I learned to garden, preserve food, and cook from scratch. While I know how to cook over an open fire, I'm thankful for my gas range. While candles and lanterns are gentle light, I'm thankful for bulbs that provide good task lighting. While visiting with my neighbors (who happen to be my son and daughter-in-law) over the garden fence is wonderful, I love the internet and keeping in touch with many friends and distant family. Hmm. Maybe it's obvious why I prefer writing contemporary books but with strong rural characters!

Linda McQuinn Carlblom.  Though I love all of the conveniences of today, I think I'd choose the 1800s. Though it requred a lot more work, it seems families were closer because of working together more. There was no electronics to distract people from each other. Faith was vital for most to survive. Neighbors were more neighborly. And the fashions were to die for!

Donna Winters.   I'm answering this as a time-travel question because I don't want to stay in the past very long. I have no difficulty deciding the exact time and place I want to visit. The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. My friend and I even decided we would go there together on the Columbia (a Great Lakes steamer that brought many tourists to the exposition). I'd go on the Ferris Wheel and visit the Midway and see all the state exhibits.

Sharon Hoover.  I'd love to go to the Renaissance time period ... about the 16th-17th century. Fascinating explorations and inventions! I'd like to take my air conditioner, though. Oh wait... no place to plug in. **sigh**

Patty Sargent Wysong.  As much as I love the Pioneer days and early 1900s, I'd have to choose living in the future. Far enough into the future so that I could have a gizmo like Jane Jetson did in the cartoons I grew up watching. I hate cooking and it would be a dream come true to be able to push a button and have a meal roll out. And don't forget Rosie. I'd want a Rosie too even though cleaning is good think time for me.

Joanne Sher.  That's HARD! Part of me wants to travel to the 1st century, if only to meet Jesus, John, Paul, Peter, etc., "face to face." But I could NEVER do all they had to (and it's not like i'd have much opportunity to speak with them, with the mores about men and women back then). Maybe just a BIT back? Like the 1950s? Families were more solid, I think. Or how about just staying here? I'm good here. :)

Janet Sketchley.  The way the future's shaping up, I don't want to jump ahead. Don't want to go backward either, because I'm spoiled by our conveniences. Guess I'm stuck! Plenty of places/times I'd like to visit in the past, though.

Kristi Peifer.  I would only do the time jumping thing if I knew I could come back and live in the present. I wouldn't want to live in another timeline. That being said, I do have things in both the past and the future I'd like to see. The past would be going back a few generations in the family to unravel a family mystery that has me perplexed. The future would be going to a time where they have found a cure for autism.
Christina Rich.  Wow, this one is very hard for me. I want to visit so many and everytime I research an era I want to go, but if I had to chose just one it'd be . . . . Yeah, it's like Pringles I can't just chose one. *g*

Audra Christensen Silva.  I'd travel through time, and live in different places at different times staying long enough to get a good solid feel for that particular time and place. So a little bit of Renaissance, followed by some Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian. Then a taste of Colonial US and some Frontier/Western adventures. Yeah, I'd skip all over time, and all over the planet. A little Ireland, Scotland, Italy...can you tell I grew up a Navy brat, love history, and love to travel?
Wow, what a wide range of answers.  Me...I'd have to go forward.  The answers are out there!!

Now, before you hop off to check out the rest of the questions and answers, tell me...Where would you go if you had the chance?
Here's the link to check out the rest of the questions and answers. I think you'll enjoy what we all had to say.

Don’t leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Karla has two new books featured on her page. Lacy Williams new book The Homesteader's Sweetheart and Lorna Seilstad's The Ride of Her Life. Pam has a whole list of recipies for you too. Stop by and check them out.

Meet Steve Evans

Steve Evans juggled the box and fumbled the key. He shoved through the door of his Chicago apartment, kicking the door closed  impatiently. Once inside the spacious living area he dropped the box on the sofa. Anticipation made him feel like a nervous bride. Well, maybe not a bride but that was the only other person he could think of that would share this sense of expectancy. So much hinged on the success of this project.
He tried to slide his fingers under the sturdy brown packing tape to no avail. The shipping company had the box secured like Fort Knox. Old habit drove Steve’s hand to his pants pocket to retrieve his grandfather’s pocket knife, remembering too late that he’d traded it for a fix years ago.
Scissors. He looked around the room, tapping an irritated hand on his thigh? Did he own a pair of scissors? Junk drawer. His search came up empty. The butcher block knife rack on the cabinet caught his eye. Steve yanked out a wicked looking chef’s knife and turned to attack the box. Tape, paper, and bubble wrap flew around him, finally revealing his goal.
Twelve neatly stacked author’s copies of his book stared up at him from the depths of the box. Steve’s hands shook as he removed one from the top of the stack. An impossible dream come true. A means to an end. An answer to his prayers. The beginning of his journey. He sank to the sofa beside the box and bowed his head over the shiny cover. Thank you, Jesus.

This week I introduce you to a new character. Hopefully he won't remain a mystery man for long.
Don’t leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Terri still has a book up for review. PERIL by Suzanne Hartmann. There’s an interview with Suzanne and a chance to win a signed copy of her book. Karla has two new book featured on her page. A Bride’s Dilemma by Valerie Comer’s Rainbow’s End

On This Side of the Cross

On this Side of the Cross
Already I’ve heard a bunch of great points on this Good Friday—be obedient, give God your best, be mindful of what your sin costs—and each one is absolutely right. But I think one statement would encompass the rest.
Trust Him.
I’m not talking about salvation-trust. That’s the only step that’s vital to eternal life. But so many people trust God and stop there. After God sets them on a firm foundation, they sit their fannies down in that spot and refuse to move.
That’s not God’s plan.
Salvation is the first step on a long road that leads not just to eternal life, but to abundant life here on earth. As we take steps of faith, trusting God with everything, He leads us to amazing places and blesses us in ways we never imagined. Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.” The question is: Do you believe that?
Do you believe God has good plans for you in your work? Are you trusting God with the people you love? With the irritating coworker and the ailing neighbor?
Are you trusting God with your parents? Your children? Your spouse?
Are you trusting God with yourself, your shortcomings and sins and fears?
When we don’t know what to do, trusting God means we wait and pray and believe He’ll guide us. When we do know what to do, trusting God means doing it, even when we’re terrified.
A few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened to a woman related to my pastor: she was assaulted at gunpoint in her own home. In her case, trusting God means knowing that He is still sovereign, and He has a purpose, even if she will never know what it is on this side of Heaven.
Trusting God is the opposite of worry. It’s the opposite of fear.
When Jesus told his followers not to worry in Matthew 6, I often wonder what they were thinking. I suspect some scoffed. “He doesn’t know my life, or he wouldn’t tell me not to worry.” I can understand that. Who was Jesus, anyway? A scraggly Hebrew from Galilee who performed a few miracles. Impressive, sure, but still…
But now we’re on the other side of the cross. Now we’ve seen the Son of God take on our sins. We’ve seen Him suffer and die for us, rescuing us from the punishment we so rightly deserve. We’ve seen His love and faithfulness and mercy. When this Jesus tells us “Don’t worry, I have a plan,” do we have any right to disbelieve him?
There can be no greater insult to Christ than to refuse to trust Him on this side of the cross.

Robin Patchen is a wife, mother and writer who has experienced God's grace is such abundance it can't help but overflow. 
###Robin is also my critique partner, worlds best grammer police, and my first guest blogger. Many thanks to her for being willing to write the Easter devotion for my blog.  
Don't leave just yet. Check out the offerings on the side bar. Terri still has a book up for review. PERIL by Suzanne Hartmann. There's an interview with Suzanne and a chance to win a signed copy of her book. Karla has 2 new books featured on her page. Submerged by Dani Pettrey and Deb Raney's After all. Leave a comment on any page and I'll register you to win a signed copy of Peril. If you enjoyed your visit, I'd love to have you join the blog as a follower.###