Didn’t Emily share an inspiring story with us about her Dream Team on Sunday? Thanks to all of you who stopped by to read about Emily and the many women who have helped her live her dream of going to college. I offered to give a copy of Angel Sister to one of those who commented on Emily’s post, but I didn’t give a deadline time. So I’m extending the non-existent former deadline to go through Saturday night, July 2, 2016 at midnight. So if you want your name to be in a drawing to win a copy of Angel Sister, you can leave a comment on this post or hop back to Emily’s post and leave a comment there.
And since I’m giving away a copy of my first Rosey Corner book and since it’s summertime, I hunted up a summertime scene in the book to share with you here. Kate, a young teen is one of the main characters in the story and is struggling with a hard thing that has happened in her family. Her father, a good man but an alcoholic, has just come home after drinking too much.
Angel Sister Excerpt
Slowly Kate scooted down to the end of the bed and out from in between Evie and Tori. She stood there a moment to see if she’d wakened them, but neither of them stirred. The silence of the house pushed in on her until she could barely breathe. She grabbed the pillow off Tori’s bed and tiptoed out of the bedroom, past her father on the couch. In the moonlight coming in the windows she could see he still had on his shoes and she felt guilty. She should have helped him take them off. She stopped and carefully loosed the laces, but she didn’t try to pull the shoes off for fear of waking him. Better to let him sleep it off.
It would be better if she could sleep it off. Not drinking. She was never going to touch that stuff. Ever. But the grief of how she had failed Lorena. That’s what she wished she could sleep off.
She stuffed the pillow behind her in the swing and stared out at the trees bathed in moonlight. The sound of tree frogs, katydids and crickets filled the night air as the swing swayed back and forth and then stopped when she kept her feet up on the swing seat. Kate felt very alone. She wished one of the barn cats would come find her on the porch and settle in her lap, but they would all be sleeping on the hay or hunting midnight mice.
The screen door eased open and her mother stepped out onto the porch. “Too hot to sleep?” she asked softly.
“I guess,” Kate said.
Her mother came over to stand in front of Kate. “You want to talk about it?”
“I don’t know.” Kate moved her feet to make room for her mother to sit down on the swing beside her.
“We could pray about it,” her mother suggested.
“Aunt Hattie already did,” Kate said.
“So she did.”
Her mother pulled Kate’s feet over into her lap and began massaging them without saying anything more. They sat there silently and let the night noises fill their ears. It should have felt peaceful, but it didn’t. After a while, Kate asked her mother the same question she’d asked her father earlier over at the pond. “Do you believe in God?” She kept her eyes on the few stars the moonlight wasn’t blotting out.
Her mother’s hands stilled on Kate’s feet for a moment before her fingers began kneading Kate’s toes again. “Yes,” she said.
“Even when he doesn’t answer your prayers?”
“Yes,” Kate’s mother said again.
“Have you ever said a prayer that wasn’t answered?”
“I have. I prayed for my mother to live with all my heart and then after she died, I prayed even harder for my baby sister. Poor dear little Essie. She was so pretty. She lived almost three weeks.”
Kate felt ashamed when she remembered how Aunt Hattie had taken her to task by saying at least she and Lorena were still breathing. Just the thought of losing her mother was enough to make her heart hurt. Kate reached over and clutched her mother’s arm. “Promise you won’t die, Mama. Not for a long, long time.”
“I plan to hold your babies and be an old granny.” Kate’s mother put her hand over Kate’s and squeezed it, but then she smiled a little sadly as she said, “You know, I asked your father to make that same promise to me before he went overseas to the war.”
“Did he promise?”
“He wanted to, but he said no truthful man could make that kind of promise going to war. That no one had the promise of tomorrow. And I knew that then and I know it now. Tomorrow is in the Lord’s hands, but your father promised something even better. He promised his love for me would never die. That no matter what happened in the war, his love would always be alive in my heart.” Kate’s mother looked toward the window into the living room. Through it, they could see Kate’s father asleep on the couch.
“Did you believe him?”
“I believed him, but I wanted more. I wanted him back with me. I wanted to have babies with him. I wanted to have you.” Kate’s mother poked Kate’s leg with her finger. “So I prayed and prayed that the Lord would let your father come home to me.”
“And he did.”
“He did.” Kate’s mother rocked the swing back and forth with her foot. “And I was thankful. Am thankful. A lot of men didn’t come home.”
That’s just a snippet of a scene that I hope had you hearing the creak of the swing and the chirp of the crickets. Have you already read Angel Sister? If so, who was your favorite character in the story? If not, did this little excerpt make you think it might be a story you’d like to read? Either way, you can get you name in a drawing for the book by leaving a comment. If you’ve already read the story, you can give the book to a friend or donate it to your library.
As always, thanks for reading.